Margaret Stones

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Elsie Margaret Stones AM MBE (28 August 1920 – 26 December 2018), was an Australian botanical illustrator.


Stones was born on 28 August 1920 in Colac, Victoria, Australia.[1]

Stones worked as principal contributing artist to Curtis's Botanical Magazine from 1950 to 1981.[2] Between 1958 and 1983 she produced more than 400 watercolour drawings for the magazine.[3]

In 1957 she was commissioned to prepare a set of floral designs for Australian postage stamps.[3]

Stones worked closely with Winifred Curtis between 1967 and 1978 in providing the illustrations for The Endemic Flora of Tasmania.

In 1976, Stones was commissioned to create a series of six watercolours as part of Louisiana State University's celebration of the American bicentennial.[4] The project's scope was soon expanded, and over the next fourteen years, Stones and a team of LSU botanists traveled throughout the state gathering plant specimens. She eventually completed more than 200 drawings, which were published by the LSU Press in 1991 as Flora of Louisiana. The original drawings, as well as selected working drawings, are now held in the LSU Libraries Special Collections in Hill Memorial Library.[5]

She was awarded a silver Veitch Memorial Medal in 1976 and a gold Veitch Memorial Medal in 1985 by the Royal Horticultural Society.[6] Stones has two genera named after her, Stonesia and Stonesiella.[7]

In 1977 Stones was made a Member of the British Empire[8] and in 1988 a Member of the Order of Australia for "service to art as an illustrator of botanical specimens".[9]

Stones died at Epworth, Richmond, Victoria on 26 December 2018 at the age of 98. She never married.[1]

See also[edit]

List of Australian botanical illustrators


  1. ^ a b "Margaret Stones". Skymorials. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Stones, Elsie Margaret (1920-)". Australian National Herbarium. 13 November 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Stones, Elsie Margaret (Margaret) (1920 - )". Bright Sparcs. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  4. ^ Native Flora of Louisiana: Watercolor Drawings by Margaret Stones, Louisiana Digital Library, Baton Rouge, La. <> (accessed 2 February 2015)
  5. ^ "Native Flora of Louisiana: Watercolor Drawings by Margaret Stones," LSU Libraries Special Collections website.
  6. ^ "RHS Green Manual". RHS. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  7. ^ Morgan, H. (25 November 2002). "Stones, Elsie (Margaret) (1920 - )". The Australian Women's Register. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  8. ^ "Miss Elsie Margaret STONES". It's an Honour. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Miss Elsie Margaret STONES, MBE". It's an Honour. Retrieved 22 February 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Zdanowicz, Irena (1996). Beauty in Truth: the Botanical Art of Margaret Stones. Victoria: National Gallery of Victoria.

External links[edit]