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Abstract Detail

Trail Blazing Women as botanical artists in the 19th and 20th century

Caomhanach, Nuala [1], Holland, Susan [2], Jess, Robin [3], Woodin, Carol [4], Garber, Marilyn [5].

Margaret Mee and the Environmental Ethic in Contemporary Botanical Art.

Botanical artist Margaret Mee began her Amazon diaries in 1956 and made many trips upriver documenting plants, some new to science, until her death in 1988. She witnessed firsthand the changes occurring in the region during that time period and modeled a new ethic for botanical artists who followed her. This ethic included a concern about environmental change and a desire to engage the public in that concern. Her works ranged from individual specimen paintings on white ground to paintings telling a broader story about the plant’s habitat. She and a handful of other artists were the beginning of a new wave of botanical artists and illustrators, now numbering in the thousands worldwide who represent a full-fledged revitalization of the field.
While some focus on plants of garden origin, a significant proportion of artists working today depict wild species with a conservation/biodiversity focus. Most botanical artists are self-employed women, some pursuing subjects independently and others working with scientists, conservationists, authors, curators, and other artists. This renaissance has culminated in Botanical Art Worldwide, a global collaboration of botanical artists, organizations, and institutions presenting simultaneous national exhibitions at major cultural/botanical institutions in twenty-five countries. Each exhibition features contemporary artwork of its country’s indigenous plants, and each venue shares a selection of the participating countries’ artworks through a digital slideshow. Plants depicted range from widespread to uncommon to endangered, communicating the importance of botanical diversity to new audiences.

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Related Links:
American Society of Botanical Artists

1 - New York University/AMNH, Department of History, 53 Washington Square, Manhattan, New York, NY, 10002, USA
2 - 222 West Avenue C, Bismarck, ND, 58501, United States
3 - American Society of Botanical Artists, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx,, NY, 10458, USA
4 - American Society of Botanical Artists, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10458, USA
5 - The American Society Of Botanical Artists

Botanical Art
Scientific Illustration

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY2, Trail Blazing Women as botanical artists in the 19th and 20th century
Location: 104/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 2:45 PM
Number: SY2004
Abstract ID:145
Candidate for Awards:None

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