This page is the result of a circular thought process ... we took these pictures, saw the inherent artistic beauty of these creatures, which then made us wonder: what's the role of butterflies in art history? Once we finished that investigation, it brought us back to the original pictures which inspired us in the first place. We hope you'll find some inspiration here too.
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Here's where it all starts, with a row of cocoons hanging on a wooden rod. The fact that these are happening in a controlled environment (in the "Butterfly Garden" at the Minnesota Zoo) adds a somewhat surrealist touch to this image ... one doesn't think of nature as being ordered and controlled like this.
The Butterfly Garden at the Minnesota Zoo where these pictures were taken features more than 40 different species of butterflies and moths from throughout North America. They can be viewed at the zoo fluttering in an environment that includes a small stream and a diversity of plants. The interactive Butterfly Garden exhibit showcases the full life cycle, including stages as a caterpillar, chrysalis or cocoon, and adult.
This last photograph was taken at a different time and in a different place (at the Minnesota State Fair), but captures several different types of butterflies together, showing the range of markings and beauty with these creatures. Now that you've seen our collection of butterfly photographs, check out our feature on butterflies in art history.