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Statham, Marjorie



  • Existence: September 6, 1911 - October 11, 2008

Biographical Note

Marjorie Statham [Favreau] (September 6, 1911-October 11, 2008) was an American illustrator. Statham started working for the American Museum of Natural History in 1946 as a freelance artist. She was hired to paint butterflies for a major publication on American tropical butterflies by William Comstock (1880-1956). Statham was asked to mimic the style of Dorothy Fitchew (1889-1975), who had already painted 81 drawings for the book of British Museum specimens. She produced 187 paintings for the book that was posthumously published in 1961, "Butterflies of the American Tropics: The Genus Anaea Lepidoptera Nymphalidae".

By 1949, Marjorie was working full time at the Museum as part of the Illustrator Corps which provided artists to a variety of departments. The funding dried up in 1950 and she was then hired full-time by the Department of Invertebrates as a technician. She assisted numerous entomologists with illustrations, collecting in the field and mounting collections for study. Her first AMNH published drawings were for entomologist Patricia Vaurie, in 1951 where she described five new species of tiger beetles. Over her time in the Department, she also produced the illustrations for two monumental and important butterfly books: "A Field Guide to the Butterflies of North America, East of the Great Plains" (1951) and "Jamaica and Its Butterflies" (1972).

In 1959, Marjorie became a minor celebrity in New York City because she was the keeper of “Buster”, an African Goliath beetle, who was left at the door of the Museum in December the year before. Buster was put on public exhibition in the Insect Hall where visitors gathered three-deep around his case. Reporters came to see him, and photographers took his picture.


Comstock, W. P.; Statham, M. Butterflies of the American Tropics: The Genus Anaea Lepidoptera Nymphalidae : A Study of the Species Heretofore Included in the Genera Anaea, Coenophlebia, Hypna, Polygrapha, Protogonius, Siderone and Zaretis; American Museum of Natural History: New York, 1961.

Klots, A. B.; Statham, M.; Longworth, F. A Field Guide to the Butterflies of North America, East of the Great Plains; The Peterson Field Guide Series, 4; Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston, 1951.

Brown, F. M.; Heineman, B.; Statham, M. Jamaica and Its Butterflies; E.W. Classey: London, 1972.



Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Marjorie Statham unpublished collection of tiger beetle paintings

Identifier: DR 203
Scope and Contents These tiger beetle paintings are from an incomplete manuscript by Marjorie Statham (nee Favreau) and Mont A. Cazier. The text of the manuscript is missing and possibly in the archives at the Arizona State University where Cazier worked for 20 years after retiring from AMNH in 1962. The collection contains over 300 paintings of tiger beetles and their genitalia, black and white photographs along with hand drawn maps of their localities. Binders of field notes were created by Cazier....
Dates: circa 1960s-1990s