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    Margaret Stones, 13 March 2003, courtesy of AWAP Collection.


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Stones, Elsie (Margaret) (1920 - )


28 August 1920
Colac, Victoria, Australia
Botanical artist


Margaret Stones is one of Australia's foremost botanical artists. She undertook professional art training at Swinburne Technical College and the National Gallery of Victoria Art School in the 1940s. At the invitation of John Stewart Turner, Stones attended lectures and demonstrations in the School of Botany at the University of Melbourne, and joined their summer expeditions to the Bogong High Plains, 1948-1950. In 1951 she left Australia for London to further her botanical knowledge, working independently for the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and other botanical institutions for more than 30 years. From 1958 she was the principal contributing artist to Curtis's Botanical Magazine, producing more than 400 watercolours. Her most important project during the 1960s and 1970s was the illustrations for The Endemic Flora of Tasmania, and from 1975 her work on the Flora of Louisiana project. Commenting on Margaret Stones's botanical knowledge and experience, Tasmanian botanist Dr Winifrid Curtis 'recalled that Stones never needed to be told, but invariably knew, which sections to draw in order to facilitate correct taxonomical classification'. A genus has been named after her, Stonesia and a Tasmanian species, Stonesiella.

Sources used to compile this entry: Zdanowicz, Irena, Beauty in Truth: the Botanical Art of Margaret Stones, National Gallery of Victoria, Victoria, 1996, 96 pp.

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Papers of Margaret Stones, 1952 - 1984, MS 7476; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

Digital resources

Margaret Stones
13 March 2003
AWAP Collection


Helen Morgan

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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