Campana Brothers Select: Works from the Permanent Collection

Book: plates from Insectes

  • Written by Emile-Alain Séguy (1889–1985)
    France, ca. 1927
    Pochoir print
    Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design
    Museum, f NK1555 .S47
    Photo: Matt Flynn

  • These exotic specimens are from the book Insectes by French etymologist Emile-Alain Séguy, who produced a series of portfolios culled from scientific publications to inspire and promote new forms, colors, and patterns. Pochoir, a type of stencil-printing technique popular in France in the early twentieth century, was employed, resulting in prints that look hand-colored. If one looks at the plates long enough, one loses the sense of isolated insects and sees the illustration as one unique shape.

Browse the collection: creating texture, entwining, inspiring arrow, morphing nature, quizzical delicacy, solid dreams, whimsy kaleidoscope
The above tags were provided by the Campana Brothers as an alternative way of organizing the objects in the exhibition.