Bell Museum of Natural History

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN



Wings of Paradise: The Great Moth Paintings of John Cody

"Wings of Paradise," an exhibit on display through August 29, 1999 at the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum of Natural History in Minneapolis, features 62 paintings of the world's most beautiful silk moths by internationally recognized artist John Cody.

Dubbed the "Audubon of moths," Cody lives in Hays, Kan,, where he raises many of his exotic subjects in his home. His vibrant paintings reveal the secret lives of the world' s largest moths--silk moths, or Saturniids--found in many parts of the world, from suburban backyards to tropical rainforests. With wingspans of up to 11 inches, silk moths are born without a mouth or stomach and live less than a week--just long enough to mate and lay eggs. The luna moth, a common silk moth found in Minnesota, is featured among Cody's work, along with a collection of real moths from the Bell Museum's scientific collections. (left: front cover of announcement card for exhibition depicting art of John Cody)

A retired psychiatrist and outspoken environmentalist, Cody strives to show the beauty of all living creatures through his paintings of moths and their natural environments. "I realize that moths don't have the present popularity of wolves, polar bears, bald eagles, snow leopards, giant pandas, elephants and whales," Cody said. "My main motivation is not money, but the desire to make the public aware of moths and to evoke concern that we are losing wonderful creatures capable of producing great visual joy."

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This page was originally published in 1999 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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