White Flamingoes, study for book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom

  • Abbott Handerson Thayer, White Flamingoes, study for book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom, ca. 1905-1909, oil on wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the heirs of Abbott Handerson Thayer, 1950.2.6

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
White Flamingoes, study for book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom
Artist
Date
ca. 1905-1909
On View
Dimensions
10 1/8 x 9 3/8 in. (25.6 x 23.8 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the heirs of Abbott Handerson Thayer

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on wood
Classifications
Keywords
  • Animal – bird – flamingo
  • Study
Object Number
1950.2.6
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI