To Whom It May Concern: An Inquiry Into the Art of Elephants

David Gucwa, Author, James Ehmann, Author W. W. Norton & Company $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-393-02240-7
Prior to this book by Syracuse, N.Y., zookeeper Gucwa and Syracuse Post-Standard science editor Ehmann, no one had brought to the public's attention that elephants like to draw, and will, without training or reward, doodle spontaneously on the ground with a pebble or stick. In the case of Siri, a 13-year-old Asian elephant, her efforts were noted by Gucwa, her caretaker, who provided drawing materials and collected the results of her endeavors. Her drawings (50 of them are reproduced here) have been admired by artists such as Willem de Kooning and their significance discussed by evolutionists and cognitive researchers, some of whom affirm artistic intent of the drawings, while others attribute this activity to the animal's boredom. Interspersed with lore that demonstrates elephantine intelligence are relevant literary quotations. As de Kooning observes, ""That's a damned talented elephant.'' Foreign rights: Norton. November 25
Reviewed on: 11/01/1985
Release date: 11/01/1985
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