Fierce Friends: Artists and Animals, 1750–1900 reveals how scientific discoveries, exploration, and new ideas during the Industrial Age affected the way artists in Europe and America thought about and depicted animals. Through paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, illustrated books, scientific specimens, and decorative arts objects, Fierce Friends explores the ways artists derived inspiration from science, natural history, and literature about animals, and also inspired and influenced these fields.
Despite the crucial role animals have played throughout human history, and despite the symbolic resonance of animals in human imagination, animal art has been a dormant subject in the art historical canon, particularly in museum exhibitions. Fierce Friends is the first serious, full-scale examination of the subject of animals in art, and it was the first to incorporate scientific materials and concepts.
Fierce Friends: Artists and Animals, 1750–1900 was curated by Andreas Blühm, formerly of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and Lulu Lippincott, Carnegie Museum of Art.