Saturday, 14 May 2011
Manchester Museum Entomology Department.
Since a large part of the events in the book I am illustrating, Zookeeper's Wife, hinges on an insect collection, which is still intact today, according to the book in the Warsaw Historical Museum, of one Szymon Tenenbaum, which was moved into the Warsaw Zoo for safekeeping when he was transported to the Warsaw Ghetto. The private passion of the Nazi officer in charge for all things entomological allowed Jan Zabinski to smuggle people out to the safety of the zoo.
Thanks to Eleanor putting me in touch with the Museum, who kindly allowed me to spend time there drawing their magnificent collection. I could have spent hours there, and it did take quite a long time to draw the insects. I was fascinated with the pinning of the insects, which when viewed from a certain angle looked architectural, like a city of insects.