Slideshow: ‘Botanizing America’ Celebrates the Nation’s Professional and Amateur Scientists

During the nineteenth century botany rose to be the most popular science in the US. Alongside professional botanists grew a legion of keen, amateur scientists, who scoured the nation looking for botanical discoveries, and, in the process, defined America as a place of immeasurable natural resources and physical beauty.

The exhibition, Botanizing America: Citizens, Scientists, and the Quest for a National Identity, has opened on the second floor of the Hawthorne-Longfellow library. It explores the rich history of botany in the US through a selection of botanical imprints, field reports, and personal sketchbooks, including those of Kate Furbish, who documented the wildflowers of Maine.

The exhibition is held in conjunction with the publication of Plants and Flowers of Maine: Kate Furbish’s Watercolors, a monumental new work that reproduces more than 1,300 of Furbish’s original botanical portraits in full color and to full size.

View a selection of sketches from the exhibition, which runs until January 17, 2017.

  • Pavia Ohionensis. From F. Andrew Michaux's "The North American Sylva, 1817-1819"
  • Gentiana Saponaria. From William P.C. Barton's "Flora of North America, 1821"
  • Sarracenia Purpurea. From Kate Furbish's "Maine Flora, 1871"
  • Asarum Canadense. From Jacob Bigelow's "American Medical Botany, 1817-1821"
  • Ictodes Foetidus. From Jacob Bigelow's "American Medical Botany, 1817-1821"
  • Mountain Ash. From Kate Furbish's "Maine Flora, 1871"
  • Cyamus Luteus. From William P. C. Barton’s "Flora of North America, 1821"
  • Lousewort. From Kate Furbish's "Maine Flora, 1871"

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