Fruits of a lifetime's fascination with moths -- specifically the kind known as giant silk moths -- will be on display at Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History beginning Saturday, Feb. 19 when a collection of John Cody's world famous paintings go on display in the museum's Hansen Gallery.
The exhibit has 67 of Cody's paintings, about half his body of work, said Greg Walters, exhibits director at the Sternberg Museum.
The paintings will be accompanied at opening by about a dozen related displays, including interactive displays on the story of Cody's first contact and fascination with moths as a child in Brooklyn, NY, exhibits on the natural science of moths and others, including one exhibit called "Moth as Inspiration," which includes a print of a Van Gogh moth, moth in literature, and Mothra, the Japanese B movie that has become something of a cult classic. Another depicts the moth as resource in primarily three areas: silk (wild, as opposed to the cultivated species), music (the cocoons used in music and magic), and food (the mapane worms of southern Africa).
" This is our big summer exhibit," said Walters, "but we're pushing it somewhat to get it open by Feb. 19 so that the school kids can see them."
After the opening, about another half-dozen complementary displays will be completed and added to the exhibit.
Cody's work primarily displays the Saturniidae (pronounced SAT-ur-KNEE-uh-dee) family of moths. He began sketching when he was 8 years old and developed his talent into a professional career as a medical illustrator. Later he went to medical school and became a psychiatrist. He spent a 25-year career as a psychiatrist.
He has exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and holds awards from Audubon Magazine and from the Association of Medical Illustrators.
His work also includes biographies of the poet Emily Dickinson and the composer Richard Wagner and he has co-authored a biography of the famed medical artist Max Brodel.
Cody lives with his wife, Dorothy, in Hays, Kansas. They have three children: Loren, Andrea, and Graham.
The exhibit will be open through Aug. 21.
Admission is $6 for adults (ages 13-59); $4 for seniors (60 and older); $4 for youth (ages 4-12); and $3 for FHSU students with student ID. Members are admitted free. Information on membership is available at the front desk.
The museum's hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The Discovery Room and the Sternberg Store are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on those days.
On Sundays, the museum, store and Discovery Room open at 1 p.m. The store and Discovery Room close at 6. The museum is closed on Mondays.
For more information on the exhibit or the artist, visit the Sternberg Museum Web site, www.fhsu.edu/sternberg/, or Cody's Web site at www.johncodygallery.com.