The beauty and complexity of plants are captured in extraordinary detail in the UC Botanical Garden’s new “Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps” exhibit, which opened this week in Julia Morgan Hall.
The American Society of Botanical Artists selected 44 original artworks by artists who create their pieces in the style of John Bartram and his son William, who lived three centuries ago in Philadelphia and were the most expert botanists and naturalists of their time. Father and son communicated their knowledge with other naturalists around the world, John sending boxes packed with hundreds of samples to colleagues in Britain and beyond, William capturing the breadth of their field research in detailed drawings and paintings.
The exhibit features contemporary botanical artists who explore the Bartram stylistic legacy. In this video, by NewsCenter producers Roxanne Makasdjian and Phil Ebiner, one of the artists featured in the exhibit — Catherine Watters, who is also a botanical art instructor — conducts a guided tour of the artworks.
“Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps” will be up at the UC Botanical Garden through Feb. 15, with some daily closures. Several lectures and art programs for kids or young adults are planned throughout the exhibit’s run.
The images on display were curated by the ASBA from entries submitted to a national contest among botanical artists. Berkeley is its only West Coast stop on the exhibit’s multi-city itinerary.
Details are available on the Botanical Garden website.
Further information about the exhibit and the Bartrams is available on the website of the American Society of Botanical Artists.