Mevr. J.M.C. Kloppenburg-Versteegh (1862-1948)

Mrs. J.M.C. Kloppenburg-Versteegh

De platen-atlas

(The picture-atlas)

The colorful picture atlas that supplemented the text book on medicinal herbs contained meticulously drawn images of a selection of herbs that Mrs. K. had used. Even the first edition of the atlas presented his collection of drawings that Mrs. K. had done herself. She never had art lessons, but she solved that problem herself by pressing those herbs between heavily weighted paper. She could then copy the resulting imprint for her atlas.

The 1934 edition shows the Dutch, Javanese, or Sundanese name for each plant, flower, root or leaf as well as the official botanical Latin name, which she had obtained in collaboration with the world-renown National Botanical Gardens in Buitenzorg (presently called Bogor). The atlas provided the excellent and much needed illustrations for her text book. The combination of these two volumes made it ever so much easier and safer to identify the correct plant whenever the need arose. This atlas also became a valuable handbook for the study of the Indies flora. It was Mrs. Ks choice and decision to publish the two volumes separately. In the preface of the first edition of her textbook she wrote:

"Separate from this publication I made another book available that pictures the plants I described in color. I would have liked to combine text and pictures in one volume but that would have made such a book too expensive for many people. I therefore decided to publish them separately."

Note: Original editions of the picture atlas in good condition are scarce and expensive nowadays. A second hand bookstore easily may charge several hundred guilders. Ironically, an illustrated textbook would presently be cheaper to publish than two separate volumes.


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