With their collecting boxes, notebooks and paintbrushes, Harriet and Helena Scott entered the masculine world of science and became two of 19th-century Australia’s most prominent natural history illustrators.
"From the 1850s, the Scott sisters collected, studied and drew the butterflies and botany of New South Wales in precise detail," said Julie Baird.
"Together they produced an archive of more than 600 intricate and beautiful paintings and drawings."
"These two women are truly little-known treasures of Newcastle's history," she added.
The family moved from Sydney to their property on Ash Island, part of modern-day Kooragang Island, in the Hunter River in 1846 and both pursued their interest in natural history. Their drawings of Ash Island's flora and fauna have become historically important in the revegetation of Newcastle’s Kooragang Wetlands.
The Scott family was prominent in Newcastle. The sisters' father, Alexander Walker Scott, was a councillor, parliamentarian, farmer and businessman, and our city's Scott Street was named in his honour.
See the collection of their work at Newcastle Museum and learn about the history of these remarkable sisters.
A touring exhibition produced by
the Australian Museum