Male Wood Duck in a Forest Pool, study for book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom

  • Richard S. Meryman, Abbott Handerson Thayer, Male Wood Duck in a Forest Pool, study for book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom, ca. 1905-1909, oil, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the heirs of Abbott Handerson Thayer, 1950.2.10

Luce Center Label

In 1909, Abbott Handerson Thayer and his son, Gerald, published a controversial book titled Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom, offering their theory of animal camouflage. Thayer believed that the coloration of animals, no matter how eye-catching, was meant to disguise them in nature through what he called "countershading." Even bright pink flamingoes would vanish against a similar colored sky at sunset or sunrise.

Luce Object Quote
"Our book presents, not theories, but revelations." Abbott Thayer, 1909
Title
Male Wood Duck in a Forest Pool, study for book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom
Artists
Date
ca. 1905-1909
On View
Dimensions
20 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. (51.3 x 51.4 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the heirs of Abbott Handerson Thayer

Mediums
Classifications
Keywords
  • Landscape – forest
  • Animal – bird – duck
  • Study
  • Landscape – water
Object Number
1950.2.10
Palette
URL
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI