• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: IMP0295

Stones, Elsie (Margaret)

(1920 – 2018) Margaret Stones
  • Born 28 August, 1920, Colac Victoria Australia
  • Died 26 December, 2018, Richmond Victoria Australia
  • Occupation Botanical artist


Margaret Stones was 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.

Published resources

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers, 1952-1984 [manuscript]

Digital resources

Related entries

  • Related Concepts
    • Women and Botany
    • Women at the National Gallery Art School, Melbourne