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Weird, Wild & Wonderful opens Feb. 6 - May 17

Reedy Gallery, Oswald Visitor Center

The Second New York Botanical Garden Triennial exhibit, curated by the American Society of Botanical Artists,  is presented by Andersen Horticultural Library and University of Minnesota Libraries at the Reedy Gallery, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Featuring 47 artworks of botanical oddities and curiosities, this esteemed traveling exhibit showcases ASBA artists from Australia, Canada, India, Japan, the UK, and the United States, including three Minnesota artists – Nancy Gehrig (St. Paul), Linda Powers (Minneapolis), and Denise Walser-Kolar (Rochester). Artists prepared for three years, seeking out and portraying plants they considered weird, wild, and wonderful. 

Public opening reception, Feb. 12, 2 p.m., RSVP 612-301-1239. Program includes talk by Carol Woodin, ASBA’s Director of Exhibitions, “Today’s Botanical Artists and Plants at Risk”  and gallery tour

Botanical art’s renaissance is illuminated in unusual renderings using watercolor, graphite, etching, oil, pen and ink, and colored pencil. Exotic plant species from such locales as Borneo, Australia, Asia, and the Americas join familiar plants we find in our kitchens, each portrayed through the eye of the extraordinary. Bat flowers, violet hedgehog mushrooms, strange cacti and carnivorous plants are represented, and exploratory delight is exhibited by each artist’s original take on theme.

Such is the case with Asuka Hishiki’s dramatic painting of an heirloom tomato, “Kind-hearted Monster,” featured on the cover of the large format color catalog published for the exhibition. The catalog can be purchased from the Arboretum Gift Store, either in store or online at www.arboretum.umn.edu/onlinegiftstore.aspx.

Fern CrozierThe 47 artworks were selected from a field of 238 submissions. Dr. Shirley Sherwood, Caroline A. Wamsler, Ph.D., and Jean Emmons formed the awards jury, which selected recipients of Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals.  These were awarded to Asuka Hishiki for Wasabi, Eutrema japonica, watercolor on paper; Beverly Allen for White Batflower, Tacca integrifolia, watercolor on paper; and Julia Trickey for Shield Fern, (pictured at left) Polystichum, watercolor on paper, respectively.

Added Exhibit! Minnesota Botanic Art in Andersen Horticultural Library features two Minnesota artists.

Gallery tour, March 14, 1 p.m. 

Each artist’s behind-the-scenes story of their work is available at www.asba-art.org/exhibitions/weird-wild-wonderful. The artwork is for sale, with proceeds benefiting ASBA and Andersen Horticultural Library.

U Media Archive Exhibit: Three Minneapolis Seedswomen 

Miss Carrie Lippincott cover, 1896

At the beginning of the 20th century, Minneapolis was home to three seed companies owned and operated by women. These firms were unusual in their time because they were run by women, they marketed to women customers, and they focused on flower seeds. Miss Carrie Lippincott, who called herself "The Pioneer Seedswoman of America," started producing small 5 x 7 inch lithographed catalogs in 1891. Emma V. White, the "Northstar Seedswoman," produced her first catalog in 1896. Jessie R. Prior, who was in business only a short period of time, produced small catalogs simply titled "Flower Seeds."

Emma V. White cover, 1900

The Andersen Horticultural Library hosts a collection of catalogs from these three firms. Our copies of the three seedswomen's catalogs have been digitized cover-to-cover and are available online at the UMedia Archive, http://umedia.lib.umn.edu/taxonomy/term/760. All text in these catalogs is searchable. For example, type "marigold" in the search box to find links to 170+ pages within the UMedia Archives. Parameters can be chosen in the right hand column to limit your search to items from the Andersen Horticultural Library. A zoom tool allows one to view fine details.

Cattleya amethystoglossa
orchid from Curtis's Botanical
Magazine. vol 94.

U Media Archive Exhibit: Botanical Images from the Collections of the University Libraries

Digitized botanical images from rare and special books in the Andersen Horticultural Library and other University Libraries can viewed online at http://umedia.lib.umn.edu/node/69341. Many of these images were part of the Transfer of Knowledge botanical art exhibit on display in 2005 at the Reedy Gallery, located at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.