Sherman Foote Denton provided the watercolor illustrations for some 100 chromolithographs documenting various species of North American fish and a few of other wildlife for the State of New York Fisheries, Game, and Forest Commission’s Annual Reports from 1895 to 1909. The State of New York illustrations are widely admired for their detail and color to this day. Denton was a Renaissance man: naturalist, traveler, artist, entrepreneur, collector, inventor and author. His interest in natural history encompassed not only fish, but butterflies and moths, insects, birds, fossils, freshwater pearls and gems. During the 1880s, he and his brothers went on trips to the Western U.S. and accompanied their father, a geologist, on an expedition to Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea, where collected natural history specimens. Returning to the U.S., Denton worked as an artist for the United States Fish Commission at the Smithsonian Institute between 1896 and 1890, where he illustrated their reports and also developed and patented a method for mounting fish without losing the natural colors. He became the leading maker of fish models for collectors and museums such as the Smithsonian, the Field Museum in Chicago and the Agassiz Museum at Harvard. He also invented a method for mounting butterflies, and amassed the most important collection of freshwater pearls in the U.S.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light overall toning and little to no wear.
“Sherman Denton, Naturalist, Dead.” Boston Herald American. June 25, 1937. http://dentons.acun.com/Sherman%20F.%20Denton.pdf (12 March 2004).
Steinhacker, Charles. “The Fish Prints of S.F. Denton.” The American Fly Fisher. Vol. 20, No. 3. Summer 1994. pp. 10-13. http://dentons.acun.com/Sherman%20F.%20Denton.pdf (12 March 2004).