Anna Comstock, American Artist and Educator

- Image ID: HRKNHM
Anna Comstock, American Artist and Educator
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: HRKNHM
Anna Botsford Comstock (September 1, 1854 - August 24, 1930), was an American artist, educator, conservationist, and a leader of the nature study movement. She entered Cornell University where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, but did not graduate. In 1878 she married John Henry Comstock, an entomologist on the Cornell faculty who got her interested in insect illustration. Though she he had no formal training in this illustration she developed a method whereby she would study an insect under a microscope then draw it. She reentered Cornell and received a degree in natural history in 1885. She made engravings for the more than 600 plates Manual for the Study of Insects (1895), Insect Life (1897), and How to Know the Butterflies (1904), the first written by her husband and the latter two co-authored by them. Her engravings were also featured in exhibits and won several prizes. She is most famous for being one of the first to bring her students and other teachers outdoors to study nature. In 1922, Comstock retired from Cornell as professor emerita but continued to teach in the summer session. In 1923, she and Martha Van Rensselaer were nominated by the National League of Women Voters as being among the twelve greatest women in the country. She died in 1930 at the age of 75. In 1988, she was inducted into the National Wildlife Federation Conservation Hall of Fame.