Inspired by the work of both early and contemporary botanical artists, photographer Jonathan Singer set out to develop a digital photography technique that would capture a viewer’s emotions through lighting and detail, and surpass “the capability of brush and paint” (Singer et al., 2009). In 2009, Singer’s now-famous photographs were published in Botanica Magnifica: Portraits of the World’s Most Extraordinary Flowers & Plants.
Selections from the five-volume, baby elephant folio-sized Botanica Magnifica are now on view at the New Jersey State Museum. Launched earlier this year, Botanical Magnifica: Photographs by Jonathan Singer has been presented as a two-part exhibition. This approach enabled the museum to display more pieces from Singer’s collection. On view since January 28, the exhibition is now in its last three weeks and will close on August 26, 2012.
To view the spectacular photography of Jonathan Singer, whom many refer to as a modern-day John James Audubon, visit the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, NJ Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 AM – 4:45 PM.
Botanical Magnifica: Photographs by Jonathan Singer is curated by guest curator, Dr. Karen Reeds, a Harvard-trained historian of science and medicine and an independent exhibition curator. Reeds is also the author of When the Botanist Can’t Draw: The Case of Linnaeus, an article that was featured in the teaching and learning column last year. In her article, Dr. Reeds discusses Linnaeus’ preference for descriptive text over botanical illustrations. In November, Dr. Reeds will present Mark Catesby and his Botanical Forerunners at a special symposium celebrating the contributions made by this 18th-century artist and naturalist.
Singer, Jonathan M. and W. John Kress, Marc Hachadourian. 2009. Botanica Magnifica: Portraits of the World’s Most Extraordinary Flowers & Plants. New York: Abbeville Press.