S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Lansdell, Miss Kathleen Annie (botanical illustration)

Born: 1 January 1888, Durban, South Africa.
Died: 3 April 1967, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Kathleen Annie Lansdell, botanical artist, attended the Government Art School in Durban and continued her training at the Royal College of Arts and Crafts in London. She succeeded Miss M. Franks* as botanical artist at the Natal Herbarium after the latter left in November 1914. During her first few months at the herbarium she prepared plates for Volume 7 of Natal plants, by John Medley Wood*, but the work remained incomplete owing to Wood's death in August 1915. From 1917 to her retirement in 1943 Lansdell worked mainly in the Division of Botany and Plant Pathology in Pretoria, where she contributed many plates to the first few volumes of Flowering plants of South Africa. Volume 35 of this publication, which appeared in 1962, was dedicated to her. From about 1918 she prepared plates and text for a series titled "Weeds of South Africa". Fourteen of these contributions, each dealing with a single species of weed, were published in the Journal of the Department of Agriculture of South Africa from 1920 to 1926. Another paper by her, "Some common adulterants found in Agricultural seeds", appeared in the same journal in 1920. She also prepared illustrations for Plant forms and their evolution in South Africa (1925) by J.W. Bews*, and for many government publications.

After her retirement Lansdell lived in Durban and continued to paint Natal plants. A folio of 76 of her plates, with descriptive notes, was presented to the Killie Campbell Library, Durban, in 1962. The folio comprised original water-colours that she hoped to have published as "The flowering plants of Natal and Zululand". Lansdell was not married.

List of sources:

Bullock, A.A. Bibliography of South African Botany (up to 1951). Pretoria: Department of Agricultural Technical Services, 1978.

Google scholar. http://scholar.google.co.za Publications by K.A. Lansdell.

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

Lansdell, Kathleen Annie: Papers and water-colours. Campbell Collections, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Retrieved from http://campbell.ukzn.ac.za/?q=taxonomy/term/409 on 2018-4-18.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS), at http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Lansdell, Kathleen Annie.

Compiled by: C. Plug