Opulent Oceans

“The human spirit is inherently drawn to the ocean for recreation, inspiration and solace,” writes American Museum of Natural History president Ellen V. Futter in her introduction to Opulent Oceans, the museum’s new collection of gorgeous illustrations of ocean life. Or, as Herman Melville put it in Moby Dick, “Stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water.”  Melville’s words come to mind again when browsing the diverse sea creatures featured in this book, all culled from the museum's Rare Book Collection. “Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water…hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure,” he writes. “Consider also the devilish brilliance and beauty of many of its most remorseless tribes, as the dainty embellished shape of many species of sharks.” Opulent Oceans contains its own poetic descriptions of ocean life. The well-curated volume features essays whose subject is the sea—accounts from legendary explorers and early naturalists are paired with brilliant images of the creatures who animate the sea, from Anemones to deep-sea fish. The deluxe boxed edition includes 40 frameable prints, making it the perfect gift for travelers and ocean-lovers.