The Curious Mr. Catesby is a fifty-minute television documentary about the life and works of Mark Catesby, the little-known 18th century English naturalist and artist, that is sponsored by the Catesby Commemorative Trust. Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands was the first fully illustrated study of North American flora and fauna and profoundly influenced the better-known John James Audubon. SC Humanities funded the documentary through several Major Grants, most recently in 2005.
Mark Catesby was sent to South Carolina in 1722 by Fellows of London's Royal Society specifically to study the natural history of the colony. He spent three years in South Carolina studying, painting, and writing descriptions of local plants and animals. However, despite his significant achievements, influence, and importance in South Carolina natural history, he is virtually unknown.
The American Première of The Curious Mr. Catesby will take place at the Sottile Theater at the College of Charleston on Monday, February 18th, at 6:30 p.m. The film screening will be followed by a champagne reception. $100 tax-deductible contribution to the College of Charleston Libraries is encouraged.