Posts Tagged ‘botanical art exhibition’

By The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation invites you to view
Dangerous Beauty: Thorns, Spines and Prickles from September 18 to December 18, 2014. This exhibition includes artworks and books that depict the formidable and yet beautiful defensive structures of thorns, spines and prickles that have evolved to protect plants from predation. Featured are drawings, watercolors, prints and books displaying thistles, teasels, cacti, roses, berry brambles, stinging nettles and citrus trees.

The first step in appreciating these defensive structures is an understanding of what they are and how they differ from each other. In the most basic sense, thorns, spines and prickles can all refer to the sharp, stiff, woody defensive appendages found on some plants. Thorns are modified stems, as in Citrus Linnaeus. Spines are modified leaves, as in Echinocactus Link & Otto. Prickles differ in that they emerge from the epidermis, mesophyll or cortex of the plant, as in Rosa Linnaeus. Examples of these structures will be depicted in a variety of ways, from detailed scientific illustrations to loose interpretations, but all showing how beautiful these structures can be.

Left, Citron: Citrus medica [Citrus medica Linnaeus, Rutaceae], watercolor on paper by Marilena Pistoia (Italy), [pre-1984], 35 × 25.5 cm, for Laura Peroni, Il Linguaggio del Fiori (Milan, Arnoldo Mondadori, 1984, p. 53), HI Art accession no. 6773.20, © 1984 Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Milan, All rights reserved. Center, Teasel [Dipsacus Linnaeus, Dipsacaceae], watercolor on paper by Celia Crampton (Africa/England), 2003, 37 × 28 cm, HI Art accession no. 7586, © 2003 Celia Crampton, All rights reserved. Right, Rosa canina L. [Rosa Linnaeus, Rosaceae], watercolor on paper by Petr Liska (Czech Republic), 1981, 24 × 16.5 cm, HI Art accession no. 6463, © 1981 Petr Liska, All rights reserved.

Left, Citron: Citrus medica [Citrus medica Linnaeus, Rutaceae], watercolor on paper by Marilena Pistoia (Italy), [pre-1984], 35 × 25.5 cm, for Laura Peroni, Il Linguaggio del Fiori (Milan, Arnoldo Mondadori, 1984, p. 53), HI Art accession no. 6773.20, © 1984 Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Milan, All rights reserved.
Center, Teasel [Dipsacus Linnaeus, Dipsacaceae], watercolor on paper by Celia Crampton (Africa/England), 2003, 37 × 28 cm, HI Art accession no. 7586,
© 2003 Celia Crampton, All rights reserved.
Right, Rosa canina L. [Rosa Linnaeus, Rosaceae], watercolor on paper by Petr Liska (Czech Republic), 1981, 24 × 16.5 cm, HI Art accession no. 6463, © 1981 Petr Liska, All rights reserved.

Artists represented are Marie Angel (England, 1923–2010); Diana Carmichael (United Kingdom/South Africa, 1926–2010); Louis Claude de Chastillon (France, 1639–1734); Celia Crampton (Africa/England); Anne Ophelia Todd Dowden (United States, 1907–2007); Raymond Dowden (United States, 1905–1982); Georg Dionys Ehret (Germany/England, 1708–1770); Henry Evans (United States, 1918–1990); Alejandro Gavriloff (Estonia/Argentina, 1914–1993); Lucretia Hamilton (United States, 1908–1986); Charlotte Hannan (Germany/United States); Jeanne Russell Janish (also Mrs. Carl F. Janish; United States, 1902–1998); Christabel King (England); Carl Ignaz Leopold Kny (Germany, 1841–1916); Paul Landacre (United States, 1893–1963); Dorika Leyniers de Buyst (Belgium); Chrissie Lightfoot (England); Petr Liska (Czechoslovakia); Stanley Maltzman (United States); Yoshikaru Matsumura (Japan, 1906–1967); Roderick McEwen (Scotland, 1932–1982); Joan McGann (United States); Jeni Neale (also Jeni Barlow; England); Gunnar Normann (Sweden, 1912–2005); Marilena Pistoia (Italy); Frantisek Procházka (Czechoslovakia, 1911–1976); Pierre-Joseph Redouté (Belgium, 1759–1840); Elizabeth Rice (England); Nicolas Robert (France, 1614–1685); Christian Schkuhr (Germany, 1741–1811); Geraldine King Tam (United States); Gesina B. Threlkeld (Netherlands/United States); Unknown artist (Mexico, fl.1787–1803), Torner Collection of Sessé & Mociño Biological Illustrations; Unknown artist (United States, fl.1900s), USDA Forest Service Collection; Frederick Andrews Walpole (United States, 1861–1904). A selection of rare books from the Hunt Institute Library collection also is included in this exhibition.

Join us Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 5–7 PM for an opening reception. At 5:30 PM Assistant Curator of Art Carrie Roy will give a short introduction to the exhibition in the gallery. We will also open on Saturday, October 11, 1–4 pm, during Carnegie Mellon University’s Cèilidh Weekend festivities. Docent–led tours will be available throughout the afternoon.


Cabinet of Curiosities
During Fall 2014, The Hunt’s Cabinet of Curiosities will highlight books from the Library’s collection featuring plants with thorns, spines and prickles. Humans are often undeterred by these sometimes pain-inducing plant features, finding that their sharpness can serve a purpose or that the plant is useful despite the pricks and jabs one might incur. Visit the Cabinet in the library’s lobby to explore how these plants have been utilized.

The exhibition will be on display on the 5th floor of the Hunt Library building at Carnegie Mellon University and will be open to the public free of charge.
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 AM to Noon and 1–5 PM; Sunday, 1–4 PM (except November 23 and November 27-30). Because hours are subject to change, please call or email before your visit to confirm. For further information, contact the Hunt Institute at 412-268-2434.

About the Institute

The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, a research division of Carnegie Mellon University, specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science and serves the international scientific community through research and documentation. The Institute meets the reference needs of botanists, biologists, historians, conservationists, librarians, bibliographers and the public at large, especially those concerned with any aspect of the North American flora.

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By Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators

Every year the Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators is given the opportunity by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to demonstrate our skills at the Philadelphia Flower Show. This is a wonderful chance for our organization to explain the fascination of botanical art to the world at large.

Some of the artists think this is great fun. But some do not. It is certainly different from the peace and quiet most of us experience when painting. People crowd around us. Small children want to see what we’re doing – up close. School groups ask endless good questions. It can be stressful.

It’s all a matter of attitude. The “best” attitude is that of a teacher who thinks that botanical art is the most fascinating subject in the world (which, of course, it is). You have to accept the obvious that there is no way that you’ll have the time to paint an entire watercolor. Maybe you can do a little work on one to show how laboriously slow it is. But do not expect to finish it. It is better to bring examples of your sketches, notes, drawings, tracings — whatever led up to the final artwork (which is shown on the wall behind us).

Instead of painting, your time will be taken up with talking to people: explaining how important it is to really “see” the plant, to understand how it grows and reproduces, to show aspects of the plant that photography cannot capture. You can possibly show how artists create form, a feeling of three dimensions. You might briefly touch on the long history of botanical art going back to the Egyptians. You must, however, talk in “sound bites.” Every sentence has to be a headline. And don’t be riled if your audience drifts away. Don’t expect to hold their attention.

You are there to rouse interest that might find an outlet at another time. Who knows? Your audience might someday take a botanical art class. They might become avid painters of wild flowers. They might even buy one of your botanical watercolors. But it’s not going to happen during the demonstration. So relax. Enjoy yourself. Stay calm and carry on.

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Morphology Preview copy

Five members of Amicus Botanicus, a painting group formed by graduates of the 2004 Botanical Painting Diploma Course at The English Gardening School, will take part in MOR.PHOLO.O.GY: An Exhibition of Botanical Art at the Sunbury Embroidery Gallery at Sunbury-on-Thames, near London. This exhibition opens on July 2, 2013 and will be on view through July 28, 2013.

Artist Louise Young says, “The gallery is a delightful little modern gallery within a lovely walled garden in the middle of Sunbury. It is close to Hampton Court Palace where the flower show will be held in July.”

In this exhibition, artists Linda McDonald, Mary Ellen Taylor, Louise Young, Caroline Jenkins and Shirley Slocock share their views of the natural world.

Be sure to also add to your calendar the presentation about orchids in art by Dr. Phillip Cribb, former Deputy Director and Herbarium Curator at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Dr. Cribb is the co-author of A Very Victorian Passion: The Orchid Paintings by John Day, a book about orchid enthusiast, John Day (1824-1888). This very inspiring book contains a sample of the more than 2,300 orchids painted by Day that are housed at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Dr. Cribb wrote this book with Michael Tibbs in 2004.


Sunbury Embroidery Gallery
Sunbury-on-Thames, England
July 2-28, 2013

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The Society of Floral Painters will celebrate the launch of their 2013 exhibition on June 1. The exhibition will be held at the National Trust Property – The Vyne from June 1-23, 2013. Gallery hours are 12-5 PM Monday to Friday
and 11 AM – 4 PM Saturday and Sunday.

The Vyne is located at Vyne Road, Sherbourne St. John, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG24 9HL. Click on the poster for directions.

Click for directions

Click for directions


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On Saturday, the 11th Biennial Exhibition of Botanical Art opens at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Featuring over 150 pieces of art by Australian and international artists, this show will be on view through November 23, 2012.

Lectures and special classes will be held in conjunction with this exhibition:

  • Seeds: Why What You Eat Matters – November 14
  • Botanical Art Masterclass with Hillary Parker – November 18
  • Exhibition Tea & Tour – November 13 & November 22

For more information, visit the exhibition page of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.


Botanical Art Program at RBG Melbourne

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On Monday, the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, NJ revealed
The Magnified Eye: Contemporary Botanical Portraiture in collaboration with Susan Frei Nathan Fine Works on Paper, LLC. This new exhibition features the work of fifteen international artists who have used various techniques and media to create their drawings and paintings of plants. Visitors can study each artist’s technique up close by using the magnifying glasses that will be on hand.

Artists participating in The Magnified Eye are:

Additional information, including an exhibition flyer, are available here. This exhibition will be on view in the Wisner House through June 15, 2012.

The Reeves-Reed Arboretum is an estate garden listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. The arboretum hosts programs for families, children, school groups and adults. Readers of this website might be particularly interested in the workshop Tree ID for Beginners scheduled for April 19, 2012.


Martin J. Allen Discusses the Power of Seeing

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By Heeyoung Kim

Heeyoung Kim
, a botanical artist from Illinois, has been awarded a gold medal from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) at the 2012 RHS Botanical Art Exhibition in London.

Twenty-five botanical artists from six countries (Australia, England, Japan, Scotland, Turkey, and USA) were selected by the RHS exhibition committee. Artwork is judged as a group of drawings or paintings making up a complete exhibit. If one or two works in a group are of a lower standard than the others, this affects the way the entire exhibit is judged. Particular credit is given for botanical accuracy, exact color reproduction and attention to detail. Higher awards tend to be given to exhibits illustrating a particular theme or plant family. Gold medals are awarded only to exhibits of outstanding and consistent excellence. Seven gold medals were awarded this year.

Heeyoung’s collection of paintings focused on the common, rare and endangered plants of the American prairie. Since the late 1800s, the fertile tallgrass prairie has been converted into an intensive crop producing area. This region of the US is called America’s “breadbasket” or “corn belt”. What was once the largest ecosystem of the American continent with a biodiversity rivaling the richest rainforests, has yielded to commercial agriculture leaving its flora and fauna in peril. Heeyoung is devoted to documenting these rapidly disappearing plants. She draws public attention to this environmental issue by exhibiting her paintings both locally and internationally.

In this year’s RHS show, Heeyoung exhibited six watercolor paintings and two mixed media paintings featuring watercolor and graphite. Each were drawn and color recorded in situ and finished in the studio after extensive research and observation. Sometimes it took years to follow up on the full life cycles of a plant. Other times it took years of waiting for rare plants to grow and to bloom. Heeyoung says, “It was a great joy to be able to paint the unearthly beauty of Fringed Gentian (Gentianopsis crinita) and the two iconic yellow flowers of the prairie, Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum) and Compass Plant (Silphium laciniatum).”

“Well done!”
This was the reaction visitors had to Heeyoung’s paintings at the RHS show. Visitors understood what a gold medal represented and repeatedly expressed enthusiasm and appreciation for the story Heeyoung was telling and how she told it through her paintings. For two full days, Lindley Hall was filled with the joy and the excitement of botanical artists, art lovers and plant lovers in attendance.

Heeyoung says the RHS exhibition was a great learning experience through which she gained confidence as a professional botanical artist.

Heeyoung teaches botanical art in the Chicago area at Noyes Cultural Arts Center, in Evanston, Illinois. Eager to be involved in any kind of activity involving plants and art, whether it be speaking with other artists and plant enthusiasts, sharing her work with garden clubs, or conducting technique demonstrations to art groups, Heeyoung believes showing her artwork and sharing her enthusiasm in every possible way helps make people more aware of the current crisis facing native plants.

View Heeyoung’s paintings of America’s prairie plants at www.PrairiePlantArt.com.


Exhibiting botanical art at an RHS show

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