Admit it: you’ve always wanted a Gulper eel iPhone case. And a giant squid shower curtain, and a sloth tote bag, not to mention a saber-toothed viperfish throw pillow. Well, your time has come, because the new WCS Archives Shop has arrived featuring historical artwork from WCS’s Department of Tropical Research (DTR), which operated from 1916 to 1965.
From apparel to home decor, the WCS Archives Shop offers a variety of products from these historical collections. All proceeds from this shop support the efforts of the WCS Archives to preserve and share WCS’s legacy.
Some 42 pieces of stunning artwork are featured, including otherworldly deepwater fish, stately portraits of sloths, strange insects, brightly colored birds, snakes, frogs, and other wildlife. They were created in an era when photography could not capture color and movement, so DTR illustrators documented species producing artistically beautiful records of wildlife.
The Department of Tropical Research was led by first Bronx Zoo Ornithology Curator and famed naturalist William Beebe. It was a division of the Wildlife Conservation Society, then known as the New York Zoological Society. The sites where the DTR worked include British Guiana (now Guyana), the Galápagos Islands, the Hudson Canyon, Bermuda, the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Venezuela, and Trinidad. Earlier this year, WCS released to the public a digital collection of some 2,200 forgotten, historical scientific wildlife illustrations from the DTR.
WCS Library & Archives advances knowledge in support of WCS’s mission to save wildlife and wild places. It provides information services to foster WCS’s leadership in science-based conservation, it preserves WCS’s robust record of activities, and it enhances understanding of WCS’s rich legacy.