An exhibition titled, Wild flowers and Pollinators, will be held at UCT Irma Stern Museum from 13 April until 3 June. It will feature loans of botanical art of historical importance selected from Kirstenbosch’s Compton Herbarium and the University of Stellenbosch’s JS Gericke Library, seldom or never previously displayed. A contemporary component of work for sale will be provided by members of the Botanical Artists’ Association of Southern Africa, (BAASA), which range in scale from small paintings of birds and butterflies to an innovative floral scroll measuring eight metres.
Most of the loans date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The highlight is a set of plates by Ethel May Dixie painted in gouache and watercolour for Rudolf Marloth’s “The Flora of South Africa” on loan from the University of Stellenbosch. This pioneering publication with its richly coloured illustrations was commissioned in 1905 by Florence Phillips and issued in four volumes between 1913 and 1932. Other contributing artists represented include Florence and Emily Thwaits, Esther Smith and Peter McManus.
A complementary programme of events has been arranged, inspired by the natural world depicted in the paintings. On Sat 20 May, Dr Tlou Masehela, SANBI Scientist, will give a talk at 11am titled: Getting to know our honey bees: their importance in nature and crop pollination.
A pop up tearoom and walkabouts will be available each Wednesday from 10.30am until 12.30pm.
Curator Mary van Blommestein: “It is such a wonderful opportunity to see our magnificent flora and some remarkable pollinators through the eyes of botanical artists from yesteryear and today”.
Flora and Pollinators exhibition: Artists | Contact
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