Thursday 27 February 2014

Exquisite 150 year old artworks by some of Australia’s most prominent natural history artists will be brought to life for new generations with the launch of a free app – The Art of Science: butterfly and moth paintings by the Scott sisters.

The app, named after the famous 19th century artists Harriet and Helena Scott, was created for the Australian Museum as part of the NSW Government apps4nsw initiative.

Developed by Beaconmaker, the app features 100 of the sisters’ remarkable scientific illustrations in an interactive format that makes the artworks entertaining for today’s tech savy audience.

Highlights of the app include:

  • A Paintings feature enabling users to view paintings by the Scott sisters in detail. By clicking on the works, users can learn more about the specimens represented.
  • Links from each painting to the ‘Atlas of Living Australia’ (ALA) for current scientific data on every butterfly and moth.
  • An About section with detailed biographies of the artists and a full history on the Scott sisters’ background and early works.

Australian Museum Archivist, Vanessa Finney, said the app mirrors the Scott sisters’ passion for art and science by linking the heritage artworks to current scientific data.

“The app is not only visually spectacular but also incredibly informative in that it connects the works with data from natural history collections throughout Australia so that users can uncover the current populations and distribution patterns of species that were first illustrated by the sisters more than 150 years ago.”

The app will be available to download for free through the iTunes store or the Australian Museum website from Friday 28 February 2014.

More information: