Roseate Spoonbills, study for book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom

  • Abbott Handerson Thayer, Roseate Spoonbills, 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, 1950.2.13

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
Roseate Spoonbills, study for book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom
Artists
Date
ca. 1905-1909
On View
Dimensions
22 7/8 x 26 1/4 in. (58.2 x 66.6 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the heirs of Abbott Handerson Thayer

Mediums
Classifications
Keywords
  • Animal – bird – duck
  • Study
  • Landscape – water
Object Number
1950.2.13
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI