American Botanical Art


American Floral Art


This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American Botanical Art and American Floral Art." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

After articles and essays from Resource Library are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches. Following online resources may be information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.

We recommend that readers search within the TFAO website to find detailed information for any topic. Please see our page How to research topics not listed for more information.

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From Resource Library in chronological order:


A Return to the Desert, Celebrating the First 25 Years, A retrospective Celebrating Dyana Hesson (3/25/16)

Charles Brindley: Trees of Myth and Legend (3/9/15)

Flowers in Winter: Celia Thaxter's Island Garden (11/13/13)

Abundance of Color: California Flowers in Art (8/22/08)

Pressing Matters: 500 Years of Wine in Art from the Sterling Vineyards Print Portfolio (6/30/06)


Georgia O'Keeffe and Andy Warhol: Flowers of Distinction (5/18/05)

The Paintings of Pieter J. L. van Veen; essay by Allan J. Kollar (8/10/05)

Drawn from Nature: The Plant Lithographs of Ellsworth Kelly (6/23/05)

Martin Johnson Heade: The Enigmatic Self; essay by Barbara Novak (2/14/05)

Plant Portraits: The California Legacy of A. R. Valentien (2/8/05)

People of the River: Native Arts of the Oregon Territory (1/25/05)

Birds & Blossoms (1/30/04)

Life as Art: Paintings by Gregory Gillespie and Frances Cohen Gillespie (11/12/03)

Two Artists: Anthony Biladeau and Lucius Passavanti (7/9/03)

"Leaves have their time to fall": Reflections of Mourning in Nineteenth-Century Decorative Arts (6/24/03)

Flora: The Beauty of Botanicals in Art (5/20/03)

Spring in California (2/4/03)

William Merritt Chase: Four Paintings from the Lilly Endowment Collection (1/31/03)

A Walk in the Woods: The Art of John Elwood Bundy, by William H. Gerdts (10/30/02)

Sandra Principe: Flowers as Messengers (5/28/02)

Text from "Partners in Illusion - Alberta Binford and William J. McCloskey" by Nancy Dustin Wall Moure (7/31/01)

Carlton Nell (1/9/01)


Alexa Kleinbard: Talking Leaves (5/8/00

Flower Power: Botanical Art (4/17/00)

Art in Bloom (1/14/00)

Hood Museum of Art Acquires Rare Outdoor Still Life by Maria Oakey Dewing (11/1/99)

Martin Johnson Heade (10/2/99)

Nature's Palette: The Roger W. Dennis Impressionist Garden, by Patricia M. Shippee (9/19/99)

Ben Schonzeit: Flower Paintings (9/3/99)

WILDflowers (6/21/99)

The Lamps of Tiffany Opens at Knoxville Museum of Art (4/13/99)

Fruits and Flowers: Botanical Paintings by Geraldine King Tam (3/11/99)

Wildflowers of New Mexico: I9th Century Botanical Illustrations by Edward M. Skeats (2/8/99)


From other websites:

American Society of Botanical Artists Accessed 4/14

Avant Gardens is a 2019 exhibit at the Newport Art Museum which says: "Collectively, the artists of "Avant Gardens" build upon and reinvigorate the long-standing tradition in art of investigating beauty, nature, and society through depictions of the garden." Accessed 7/19

Big Botany: Conversations with the Plant World is a 2018 exhibit at the Spencer Museum of Art / University of Kansas which says: "Big Botany: Conversations with the Plant World explores humankind's deep connections and fascination with the plant kingdom through artworks from the Spencer Museum's permanent collection, a number of significant loans, and site-specific commissions by four artists-in-residence: Ackroyd & Harvey,  Sandy Winters, and Mathias Kessler." Presentation includes 155-page online exhibit catalog.  Accessed 5/18

Botanical Art Worldwide: America's Flora is a 2019 exhibit at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum which says: "From saguaro cactus of the Southwest, big-leaf maple of the West Coast, and bloodroot spanning the Midwest to bottlebrush buckeye of the Eastern Seaboard, this exhibition features artworks of America's native plants."  Also see info from American Society of Botanical Artists and from Botanical Art Worldwide Accessed 11/19

Burchfield Botanicals is a 2017 exhibit at the Huntsville Museum of Art which says: "Between the years 1908 and 1911, American artist Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967) created nearly 500 botanical sketches that illustrated the different wildflowers and plants he found in the forests and fields around his childhood home in Salem, Ohio. Using books from the local library, Burchfield identified and documented these plants along with the locations where he found them. The artist's fascination with plant life would remain strong throughout his career. Many of the wildflowers he recorded during those early years would show up again and again in paintings, and some would be included in the titles of works." To read more after exhibit closes, go to "Past Exhibitions" section of museum website. Accessed 6/17

David Pettibone: Year with a Tree is a 2017 exhibit at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center which says: "The project takes the form of numerous watercolor and oil paintings which investigate, in detail, a single tree at the Eagle River Nature Center from May 11, 2016, to May 11, 2017, and how the changing of the seasons affects the tree."  Also see artist's website Accessed 12/17

A Decade of Paintings, 2000-2010: Selected Works by Michael M. Strueber, an exhibit held January 28 - June 11, 2011 at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Includes exbibit brochure. Accessed April, 2015.

Garden of Biotanical Delights: Diane Kempler is a 2017 exhibit at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University which says: "Although Diane Kempler and Hieronymus Bosch work in different media and are, forgive the obvious, from vastly different cultural eras, there is something about Kempler's wildly gesturing ceramic forms that are reminiscent  of Bosch's passionately overpopulated paintings."  Accessed 11/17

Gathering Light: The Art of Stephen Hannock, an exhibit featuring artists depicting images of trees, held March 31 - July 8, 2012 at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. Includes curator's essay. Accessed May, 2014

James Prosek: Un-Natural History, October 21, 2011 - January 27, 2012 from Bellarmine Museum of Art. Accessed 4/14

Karen Kitchel: Grasslands is a 2019 exhibit at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art which says: "Known for her sensitive and meticulously rendered paintings, Karen Kitchel challenges herself to express her concern for the environment by painting grasses in a variety of sizes."   Also see artist's website    Accessed 2/19

Michael Sherrill Retrospective is a 2019 exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum which says: "Sherrill's most recent work reveals his naturalist's sensitivity to botanical wonders, especially those outside his studio in the mountains of North Carolina. His floral forms have the allure of Martin Johnson Heade's passion flower and orchid paintings and the botanical engravings of John James Audubon, aligning his work with a long history of a reverence for nature in American art."  Accessed 12/19

Natural Selections, an exhibit held at the Addison Gallery, Phillips Academy September 7, 2013 - March 16, 2014. Accessed 4/14

Out of the Woods is a 2018 exhibit at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens which says: "Organized by The New York Botanical Garden and the American Society of Botanical Artists, this traveling exhibition of original botanical artworks spotlights one of the planet's most important and beautiful resources-its trees-as cultivated by botanical gardens and arboreta. The exhibition highlights the role public gardens play in engaging visitors with trees and their ecological and utilitarian roles, and also underscores the conservation, research, and scholarship being undertaken by these institutions." Accessed 6/18

Paintings by Robert Kushner is a 2018 exhibit at the Sarah Moody Gallery which says: "Kushner (b. 1949) is an American painter known as a founder of the Pattern and Decoration art movement of the 1970s and 1980s. Kushner's work combines organic representational elements with abstracted geometric forms in a way that is both decorative and modernist. Since the 1980s, he has used a full spectrum of color with gold, silver and patinated copper leaf to render the flowers and leaves, which have become his signature motif." Also see artist's website  Accessed 3/18

Robert Zakanitch: Garden of Ornament is a 2017 exhibit at the Hudson River Museum which says: "Though his imagery varies - from abstract decoration to birds, angels, even author Jane Austen - Zakanitch has turned, again and again, to the shape and color of flowers to project these painterly motivations." Also see artist's website   Accessed 8/17

Roland Reiss: Unapologetic Flowers and Small Stories is a 2018 exhibit at the Claremont Museum of Art which says: "The decision to focus on flowers, a subject generally undervalued in the history of painting, reflects the artist's ongoing determination to challenge himself, to push limits, to employ the breadth of his experience in compositions far more complicated than they first appear." Also on view will be "...the 'miniatures,' sculptural tableaux suggesting human dramas in familiar settings (1970s-90s)..."  Also see artist's website   Accessed 5/18

Sam van Aken: Streuobstwiese is a 2017 exhibit at Lafayette College Galleries which says: "The exhibition includes fruit trees removed from soil, exposing branch and root structure; van Aken's botanical illustrations; herbariam specimens, sanded stone fruit tree stumps that show the transition at the juncture of graft and trunk; and peach "whips" suspended from the ceiling." Also see artist's website  Accessed 11/17

Scientific Wonders: Botanical Prints from the Lloyd Library and Museum  a 2019 exhibit at the Zanesville Museum of Art which says: "Popularized during the Age of Enlightenment -- a period when science and reason were used to understand the universe -- these prints allowed intellectuals to explore the wonders of the plant kingdom." Accessed 4/19

Virginia Poundstone - Flower Mutations was a 2015 exhibit at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, which says: "Virginia Poundstone's practice spans photography, sculpture, video, and installation, and is exclusively focused on the history and botany of the flower and its socio-economic and cultural significance. Her exhibition at The Aldrich is dedicated to two important sources of inspiration: Giacomo Balla's series of Futurist Flowers and traditional American flower-pattern quilts." Also see the exhibit brochure in Issuu. Accessed 11/16

A potential source of Resource Library articles and essays is the North Carolina Arboretum, located in Asheville, North Carolina. The Arboretum features rotating exhibitions at the Baker Exhibit Center, many featuring botanical artists. Accessed May, 2015.


(above: Baker Exhibit Center, North Carolina Arboretum, May, 2015. Photo © John Hazeltine)


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