Mark Catesby was born April 3, 1683 and was baptized in Castle Hedingtham, Essex. Catesby studied natural history in London before coming to Virginia in 1712.

Mark Catesby was an early naturalist from London who made two trips to America, once in 1712 and then later in 1722.  While in America he traveled extensively throughout the low country, including Kiawah Island.  He then took the specimens he collected back to England to begin his watercolors.  He was later elected a member of the Royal society of London due to his two volume work “The Natural History of Carolinas, Florida and the Bahama Islands”

Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida and The Bahamas was the first natural history of American flora and fauna. First issued between 1731 and 1743, this work would eventually include 220 prints, which for the first time systematically illustrated American birds, animals, and plants. It was not only the first fully-illustrated natural history of North America, preceding Audubon, but also a major contribution to both art and science.

Despite his broad body of work, Catesby had few publications which include, “The Natural History of the Carolina, Florida and the Bahamas Islands”. Catesby is considered one of the greatest naturalists of the eighteenth-century. Recently the film “The Curious Mr. Catesby” was previewed on Kiawah Island for the first time in the United States. The film is about the hand-colored drawing and watercolors of Mark Catesby and his studies in the Lowcountry. The Wells Gallery at the Sanctuary had a great opportunity to offer a diverse selection of the reproductions from Catesby’s original work. These unique prints were created by Alecto Historical Editions.  The editions are limited to fifty complete sets, numbered 1/50 through 50/50, only 10 in each set released for public sale.


The Brown Curlew
The Red Curlew
The White Curlew
The Cut Water
The Laughing Gull
The Oyster Catcher
The Blue Wing Teal
The Bluewing Shoveler
The Buffel's Head Duck
The Little Brown Duck
The Pied Bill Dopchick
The Round Crested Duck
The Summer Duck
The White Face Teal
The Angel Fish
The Bahama Unicorn
The Cat Fish
The Fresh Water Perch
The Great Hog Fish
The Land Crab
The Parrot Fish
The Porgy
The Sole
The Tang
The Blue Fish
The Bone Fish
The Carolina Whiting
The Flying Fish
The Lane Snapper
The Mullet
The Negro Fish and the Black Tail
The Old Wife
The Pork Fish
The Rock Fish
The Rudder Fish
The Schoolmaster and Alburnus Minor
The Skipjack
The Squirrel
The Yellow Fish
The Croker
The Green Turtle
The Hawksbill Turtle
The Loggerhead Turtle
Titaokeratophyton Ramocissimum
The Bluetail Lizard, The Green Lizard, and the Lizard of Jamaica
The Bull Frog
The Green Tree Frog and the Scunk Weed
The Land Frog and Sarracena foliss Longioribus
The Land Frog, The Water Frog, and the Green Tree Frog
The Water Frog
The Green Lizard of Carolina
The Flying Squirrel
The Gray Fox
The Gray Fox Squirrel
The Ground Squirrel
The Black Squirrel
Magnolia Flore Albo
Anona Fructus
Anona Maxima and the Largest Carolina Moth
Lilium Angustifolium
Martagon Canadense
Phalaena Fusca and the Great Moth
Pigeon Plum
Plumeria Flore Niveo
Plumeria Flore Roseo
The Balsam Tree
The Cushew Tree
The Maho Tree
Viscum Radice Bulbosa and Papillio
Philadelphus, Smilax and the Four Ey'd Night Butterfly
Bigonia Americana
The Umbrella Tree
The Indian Pink
Michaux Lily
The Lady's Slipper
The Laurel Tree of Carolina
The Yellow Lady's Slipper
The Purple Bind Weed of Carolina
The Sassafras