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Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

Persons, Collections and Topics

Letty, Cythna Lindenberg, 1895–1985

HI Archives collection no. 73
Letters from Alain White, 1934–1945 and n.d.
.25 linear feet (1 folder)

Biographical Note

Botanical artist Cythna L. Letty (Mrs. Oscar Forssman; 1895–1985) was employed at the Division of Plant Industry, Pretoria, South Africa (1927–1938 and 1945 until retirement) and at the Botanical Research Institute, Pretoria (after retirement). 

Scope and Contents Note

These letters from taxonomist Alain White (1880–1951) refer to Letty's illustrations in the journal Flowering Plants of South Africa, the use of her drawings of Stapelia Linnaeus from that journal in White and Boyd L. Sloane's The Stapelieae (Pasadena, Abbey San Encino Press, 1937, 3 vols.), and the preparation and publication of the book, in which she is listed as a collaborator. White's letters also cover the use of Letty's drawings in White, Sloane, and R. Allen Dyer's The Succulent Euphorbieae (Pasadena, Abbey Garden Press, 1941, 2 vols.). References are made by White to Sloane, Inez Verdoorn of Summerville, South Carolina, and M. E. Connell of Litchfield, Connecticut. White's letter of 10 July 1935 contains some autobiographical data as well. 

Also included is one letter (22 June 1937) from Sloane to Letty, written after the publication of The Stapelieae.

Finding aid

A finding aid for this collection is available online.

Other resources

For information about portraits of and biographical citations for this subject, see the Hunt Institute Archives Register of Botanical Biography and Iconography database.

For thumbnails of artwork by Cythna L. Letty, see the Catalogue of the Botanical Art Collection at the Hunt Institute database.

Cythna L. Letty (Mrs. Oscar Forssman; 1895–1985), National Herbarium, Pretoria, South Africa, unknown date, 14 × 8.5 cm, photograph by an unknown photographer, HI Archives portrait no. 3.