Art exhibition – Dick Laws: Antarctic scientist and artist

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This exhibition features a range of watercolours, drawings, notebooks, illustrations and finished paintings from the former Director of  British Antarctic Survey, Dick Laws.

The exhibition, at the Scott Polar Research Institute Polar Museum runs from 1-25 March 2017.  It is open from Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm


flyer for exhibition

About the artist

As well as being an outstanding scientist, a leading expert on large mammals and a former Director of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Dick was a consummate artist. Although the line drawings illustrating his scientific papers are reasonably well-known, his sketches, drawings and paintings of Antarctic wildlife and scenery remain little known or appreciated. This exhibition will feature works from his early years, his time at Signy Island and South Georgia and his later years visiting the Antarctic when  BAS Director. In illustrating the development and use of his artistic skills, it also pays tribute to an exceptional individual.

Dick Laws (1926-2014) was the leading marine mammal scientist of his generation, developing in the Antarctic new techniques and approaches to population studies of seals and whales. After pioneering similar approaches with large mammals, especially elephants, in Africa, he returned to the UK as Head of Life Sciences, then Director, of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). There he led two decades of exceptional science and helped create, via the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (eventually as its President), ground-breaking collaborative programmes of research into the biological oceanography of the Southern Ocean in support of the sustainable management of its living resources. He was hugely instrumental in the development of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals and of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. After retiring from BAS, Dick became Master of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, presiding over its transition to full collegiate status.