A combination of technical rigour and creative talent will go on display at the Orange Regional Museum from this week.
A collection of scientific illustrations from the NSW Department of Primary Industries will line the hall of the foyer of the museum.
DPI Collections Leader Jordan Bailey said the drawings and painting, which date back as far as the 1860s, were used to better inform growers about production issues, helping them identify and manage pests and disease.
"These beautiful and intriguing works of art helped farmers farm in a time when photography was uncommon, before video, YouTube, Instagram and smartphones existed," she said.
"They're aesthetically pleasing but they also served a purpose."
Featured artists Margaret Jordan and Emil H Zeck have documented natural history, plant pests and diseases in NSW throughout their careers, with the aim of protecting agroecosystem.
Dr Jordan said illustration remains a powerful tool to help record what is here now and what exotic threats could impact on farming in the future.
"Illustrations and graphics help streamline and visually communicate important features and place focus where it is needed, especially in cases where photography can't convey what an illustration can - when a specimen is semi-translucent, too shiny, or damaged," she said.
The exhibition has been set up in the foyer to encourage visitors to the museum while the main area is closed off for the removal of Paddock to Plate and the installation of the upcoming exhibition.
The large exhibition area of the museum will be closed for almost six weeks from April 29, with an official opening of All In A Day's Work on June 6.
For those yet to see the Paddock to Plate exhibition, museum's manager Allison Campbell will provide a free guided tour, which includes cheese and wine, from 5-7:30pm on April 23.
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