The Art of Science Collection

This collection contains the rare books featured in the Australian exhibition The Art of Science: Remarkable Natural History illustrations from Museum Victoria, which was developed by Museums Victoria and travelled to Mornington, Ballarat, Adelaide, Mildura, Sale, Sydney and the Melbourne Museum between 2012–15.

lyrebird engraving


Superb Lyrebird, from An account of the English colony in New South Wales, from its first settlement in January 1788 to August 1801, David Collins, 1804.

The Art of Science exhibition showcases the best of Museum Victoria's collection of natural history artworks, including working drawings and rare books from the 18th and 19th centuries, field sketches from early colonial exploration of Australia's wildlife, and contemporary photographic records. The exhibition traces the development of scientific art over the past 300 years and provides a glimpse into a world of uncommon beauty.

This collection includes the rare books from the exhibition, which contain historical artworks by (or commissioned by):