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collage of various art worksThis section of NOAA History may come as a surprise to those who believe that hard-headed engineers and scientists are far removed from the creative realm of daydreaming artists and poets. But it may be possible that these seemingly disparate groups have more similarities than commonly believed.

In particular, both groups are primarily concerned with discovering the underlying "truths" of the world about them. The ancient Greeks were aware of the complementary nature of poetry and science with their belief in the nine Muses and their roles in guiding human endeavors in music, history, poetry, and science. Certainly Thalia whose realm was playful idyllic poetry and Urania whose niche was astronomy and the related sciences were the two Muses whose spirits were most akin to the Coast Surveyors and Weather Bureau employees who embarked upon poetic and artistic excursions.

As concerns art, the professional experiences of the Coast Survey, Fisheries, and Weather Bureau officials and employees led them to observe some of the most dramatic natural features and phenomena occurring on our planet. It is not surprising that a few of these individuals took brush and sketch pad to hand and attempted to present the world they observed by the mediums of paint and pencil.

The poetry and art section of NOAA History highlights the work of some of these multi-talented individuals. As an added bonus, be on the lookout for those who, like the oracles of old, could peer into the future such as George W. Mindling in his 1939 poem "The Raymete and the Future" and R. S. Clark in his 1934 poem "The Rodman Reverie". It is time now to lean back and enjoy some of the whimsical and sometimes serious art and poetry of the weather service, fisheries service, and coast survey.
picture of spencer baird

The Poetry Corner
Home of weather poems, survey poems, and ocean poems written by the men and women who served in NOAA or its ancestor agencies.

drawing of an 1880s fisherman
Art Gallery
Small sampler galleries of art work from the various ancestor agencies of NOAA.

picture of james mcneill whistler

James McNeill Whistler
Outrageous, unconventional, original, monumentally egotistical, and, most importantly, highly talented. He also was employed by the Coast Survey for a short period.

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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