Scientist of the Day - Alice B. Woodward
Alice B. Woodward, an English artist, was born Oct. 3, 1862. Woodward was a very popular book illustrator in the early 20th century, providing the images for later editions of Alice in Wonderland, Black Beauty, and children’s versions of several Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Alice also did restorations of dinosaurs and other extinct animals, perhaps because her father, Henry Woodward, was Keeper of Geology at what is now the Natural History Museum, and did restorations himself, only he put together real fossilized bones. Alice preferred to restore them on paper. Henry Knipe’s Nebula to Man (1905), which illustrates the entire history of life on earth, has 13 plates by Alice, including depictions of a pair of Diplodocus (first image) and a flight of Pteranodon (second image).
In 1912, Knipe issued a second book, Evolution in the Past, and this time 50 of the 56 plates were provided by Miss Woodward. We see above several Iguanodon (third image) and a cluster of various pterosaurs (fourth image). We displayed another Woodward drawing of an Iguanodon, taken from a different work, in our exhibition Paper Dinosaurs.
Alice also illustrated an edition of Peter Pan. One wonders if her experience drawing prehistoric reptiles was useful when it came to drawing Captain Hook’s nemesis, the crocodile (fifth image).
Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City. Comments or corrections are welcome; please direct to firstname.lastname@example.org.