Brooklyn is home to much more than hydrangeas and forsythias. This weekend, BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN FLORILEGIUM SOCIETY presents PORTRAITS OF A GARDEN III, an exhibit of all new work at Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s (BBG) Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery, Saturday, September 9 through November 5. This is the fifth public exhibition by Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society, whose mission is to paint Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s living collections and advance the appreciation of botanical art.
The exhibit will feature 42 new works by 32 of its members and fellows. Works include Dick Rauh’s drawings and paintings of BBG’s world-class bonsai collection; a painting by Rose Pellicano of a rare Croton alabamensis (Alabama Croton); paintings of Tropical water lilies by Kevin Duggan and Leslie Berge; Wendy Hollender’s Sacred Lotus painting; and two exquisitely-detailed paintings of lilacs by Mary Ryniec, the first to document the Garden’s extensive, signature collection. (Not coincidentally, Mary is married to Dan Ryniec, Curator of BBG’s Lilac Collection and Osborne Garden.)
According to Patricia Jonas, director of library services and curator of the exhibit, “The Garden is world-renowned for its special plant collections and displays, and the Florilegium Society is dedicated to creating a body of work that mirrors all of BBG’s collections, such as bonsai, roses, magnolias, lilacs, and aquatic plants — in addition to portraying the Garden’s individual plants.”
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society was founded in 2000 by Francesca Anderson, Gina Ingoglia, and Elizabeth Scholtz, director emeritus, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and has since become a model for other such societies around the world. The art is part of the permanent collection of the Library and is housed in the Rare Book Room.
With almost 100 works contributed to date, Florilegium Society members from near and far have made an impressive start on representing the more than 10,000 kinds of plants growing at BBG. The exhibit is free with Garden admission.