The investigation of landscape, nature and ecology in contemporary art has its roots, in part, in the legacy of Romanticism and the search for man's place within the world.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Artist: Rev. M.J. Berkeley

Rev. M. J. (Miles Joseph) Berkeley (1803-1889)
Outlines Of British Fungology
London, L. Reeve, 1860.
Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany

Miles Joseph was born at Biggin Hall on the 1st April, 1803. He became attached to natural history from an early period, and his scientific tendencies, both zoological and botanical, were kept alive and vigorous when at Christ's College, Cambridge. During a summer residence at Loch Lomond in 1823, and at Oban in 1824, he made considerable collections of specimens of the lower forms of animals and plants. At this time he made the acquaintance of Captain Carmichael, a cryptogamic botanist, whose association with the young student must have been of considerable advantage.

Mr. Berkeley was admitted deacon and curate of Stibbington, near Wansford, on December 1st, 1826, and here he was ordained priest on December 23rd, 1827. During this time he made a considerable number of drawings of fungi and began to publish his numerous cryptogamic publications.

In 1879 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society, and shortly after presented his extensive collection of fungi, amounting to upwards of 10,000 species, to Kew. It has been estimated that it contains 4,866 type specimens named by himself, and that Mr. Berkeley must have named in all nearly 6,000 species.

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