Observed | Books

Flowering Pages

Since its founding in 1913, The Garden Club of America has maintained a significant library of garden books. To mark the clubs centenary, the exhibition Gardening by the Book: Celebrating 100 Years of the Garden Club of America is on view at the Grolier Club. Click through the slideshow below for a preview of the imagery found in the exhibition.

Included in the exhibition are richly illustrated color plate flower and natural history books, treatises on garden design and landscape architecture, botanical manuals (including one owned by J. P. Morgan), and early photographic works on gardening. Nineteenth-century horticultural journals will also be on view along with horticultural dictionaries, works on the art of Japanese flower arranging, and fascinating early studies on indigenous flowers of the New World, from Hawaii to Colorado. The twentieth century is represented by letters and manuscripts from Gertrude Jekyll, first editions of Rachel Carson’s books, including Silent Spring, and early 20th century garden books by GCA member authors. There are also curiosities such as 17th and 18th century descriptions of coral, originally thought to be an herb, and poisonous plants depicted by the sinister pen of English illustrator John Nash. One of the more recent acquisitions is a bound set of early 20th century South African journals with hand-colored botanical plates.

The exhibition is on view until July 27, 2013.

Posted in: Arts + Culture, Illustration, Media

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