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Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Thank you so much for a wonderful day with you.

You work in the most beautiful soaring spaces imaginable and it was deeply satisfying to see the elegant design employed in the display of art at the highest levels of quality. The difference between the masterpieces you display and the levels just below it hurts my eyes. Your successful pursuit of excellence provided me with a deeply satisfying day. Thank you.

Thank you also for understanding immediately and generously how much it meant to me to be able to include my precious daughter, Josephine. This one especially has given me a ride.

Yes, you are right. My vision is a new syllabus for schools for the elevation of the study of natural history illustration to be worthy of named, endowed professorships. Your succinct, quick, superb analysis was moving and gave me a clearer understanding of my true goal. Again, thank you.

But if the study of creationism and the ridiculous pursuit of stem cell research that follows evangelical precepts (I actually know the professor at Stanford who IS doing this - the laughing stock of his profession. AT STANFORD!) can be introduced today, then the raging fire started by Linnaeus to inspire others to magnificently catalog the natural world certainly is more than worthy. These works represent at the highest level the essence of the enlightenment in France most of all, then England, the Netherlands, Italy, the German states, numerous religious orders and even the Muslim world.

Beyond that these artists and scientists were welcome in the most elevated social groups in Europe. Redoute worked for two Queens and an Empress who were fully aware of the scientific rules of classification that he employed to decorate their palaces and mansions. Can you image any leader today who even knows what Linnaeus accomplished much less the rules that he established?????

Well, it seems to me that students will appreciate and fiercely want to protect the natural world more if they are taught those rules. What better way to learn this than to be taught looking at the work of the masters and comparing the work that lacked the confidence of those who preceded them??? And yes, those who understood Linnaeus FIRST drew with passion and great inspiration because there were no rules and they knew they were FIRST. Always the artists who are first are the ones that we admire and study and treasure. God seems to give these pioneers a blast of genius skills every time. While our darling Jenny Phillips is immensely skilled, she is following a path established by others.

So, yes, it is my feeling that this is something that should be taken much more seriously. And since our society's greatest asset is our body of full professors, I want a few of them to have my defined focus. So yes, you have explained my vision better than I could myself. Wow.

You leave me,

Truly grateful,

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