Congratulations Pamela!

BASNCR Member Pamela Mason’s graphite and carbon pencil drawing of Clematis
 (Curlyheads seed head) appears in the June 2013 issue of “The
Botanical Artist”, the Journal of the American Society of Botanical Artists.  It
accompanies the column by Dick Rauh, “The Science of Botanical Art: Weird and
Wild” on page 4.


Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, Featuring the Italian Renaissance Garden May 18 – September 8, 2013 – Bronx, NY

From The New York Botanical Garden’s Website:

Discover how cultures around the world rely on plants for everything from medicine to cosmetics. Embark on a journey of the senses through a stunning re-creation of an Italian Renaissance garden and interactive stations highlighting the rejuvenating and healing powers of tea, cacao, and tropical juices. Explore a fascinating presentation of rare books and manuscripts known as herbals and enjoy a poetry walk, weekend Renaissance music & dance performances, hands-on science adventures for kids, and more!

The Garden is located at 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458

About the Show

Since ancient times, all cultures have used plants as a source of medicine, from a European willow tree that produces the active ingredient in aspirin to the Pacific yew, the source of the cancer fighting drug Taxol. Today an estimated 4.5 billion people worldwide use plants for some part of their health care. Drawing on the expertise of the Botanical Garden’s Institute of Economic Botany, an acclaimed Renaissance scholar, and an award winning landscape designer, Wild Medicine delves into the far-reaching influence medicinal plants have had on history, the world’s cultures, and modern life.

Healing Plants Around the World features the research of some of the Garden’s leading experts in science, medicine, and ethnobotany. Explore plants such as the cinchona tree, the source of quinine, which treats malaria, and white willow, whose bark leads to the production of aspirin. More than 400 species or cultivars of medicinal plants are showcased, most of them grown in the Garden’s glasshouses, making this one of the largest exhibitions of medicinal plants ever mounted. See the full list.

The Italian Renaissance Garden is inspired by Europe’s first botanical garden, created in 1545 at the University of Padua, in the Venetian Republic. A lush landscape of Mediterranean flowers, including exotic varieties, endangered species, and medicinal plants, are classically composed to evoke the original design that remains at Padua to this day.

Contemporary Botanical Artists Explore the Bartrams’ Legacy Opening Reception May 3, 2013 5:00 pm- 7:00 pm

American Society of Botanical Artists and Bartram’s Garden will hold an opening reception, featuring 44 contemporary botanical artworks, plants, and light refreshments in a legendary landscape, on
Friday, May 3, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.

Event held at:

Bartram’s Garden
54th Street & Lindbergh Blvd.
Philadelphia, Pa 19143
 RESERVATIONS required – click on the link below




Exhibits at the National Gallery of Art

Don’t miss, Albrecht Dὓrer, Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina, in the East building of the National Gallery of Art. It includes his self-portrait at 17, several plant drawings, and works in silver point. (If you don’t know what silver point is, sign up for Scott Rawlins class at the Brookside Gardens) It is a beautiful subtle media that darkens with age.

A second treasure at the National Gallery is the “Color, Line and Light” Exhibition in the West building. Wonderful landscapes in charcoal, pencils , watercolor, and other media are stunning both in execution and size. It might not be a botanical art collection, but the drawings will inspire you.

Just outside the “Color, Line, and Light Exhibition” is the exhibition of “Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection”. Don’t miss the eight large-sized botanical paintings by Redoute, on either side of the gallery.

Summary of the Margaret Mee Documentary

March 18,2013, the National Museum for Women in the Arts hosted a documentary film about Margaret Mee. In it, a British family describes Mee:

“She was quite passionate, so it was probably good that she went to Brazil to paint flowers instead of going to Hyde Park all the time and speaking about one issue or another as she did in Britain”.
Mee’s passion was environmentalism– before it was widely understood. Her paintings and botanical finds documented how serious environmental destruction had become even in the farthest reaches of the Amazon River.The documentary focused on close-ups of watercolor paintings by Mee, interviews by her friends, and included both real and re-created footage of Mee’s trips to collect plants.

Stories told about her painted a picture of a dynamic and persistent nature lover but also someone who was a bit eccentric. One story was that she kept the garden in the back of her house as dense as the jungle. When a large poisonous snake was found in the undergrowth, she was only persuaded to remove it when warned that it might kill the gardener. Another time, she broke up a rowdy garden party in her neighbor’s back yard by climbing the wall between the two houses and peering over the garden wall with her long white hair flowing and her white nightgown blowing, the revelers mistook her for a ghost and everyone ran away.

Despite stories like these, Mee was a serious botanical artist. She began her work in a botanical garden, and the age of forty-seven she moved to Brazil. She eventually ended up taking 15 journeys into the furthest reaches of the Amazon. She encountered Jaguars, and aboriginal natives along with undiscovered Bromeliads and Orchids. On one of her first trips, Her British companions left her in the jungle and she was forced to find her own way back to civilization, but not before being threatened by bandits who ran away when she pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot them. There was also a Native Chief who expressed a desire for her long white hair. She told him her husband wouldn’t let her come back home to him without her long hair, so, reluctantly, the Chief let her go.

Mee was in her 80’s for her fifteenth adventure. During it, she fulfilled a life-long dream of painting the Moon flower, a rare plant that flowered only one day a year and only for the night of that day. She located a plant that was in bud, monitored it daily, and when the flower started to open, she stayed up all night to capture the event.

Soon after, this life of adventure ended in Britain. Margaret had come to America to speak about her work and be interviewed on television. Then, she returned to England to speak with the Prince of Wales about her cause. However, it was in England that she stepped in front of a car and was killed—not a fitting end for an explorer of jungles, but as her relative had said, “She belonged in Brazil and not in a more civilized environment”.