of the University of New Mexico
Harwood Facade, photo by John Rudiak, 1998
Wildflowers of New Mexico: I9th Century Botanical Illustrations by Edward M. Skeats
Pulse Family, Leguminosae - New Mexico Flora, 1897, watercolor, gift of Arthur E. Skeats
Wildflowers of New Mexico, I9th century botanical illustrations by Edward M. Skeats, went on display, in The George E. Foster, Jr. Gallery for Prints, Drawings and Photographs, at the Harwood Museum on February 7th, 1999. The twenty watercolors on exhibit were painted in the late 1890s in southeastern New Mexico.
Skeats (1858-1928), a native of England, was a chemist, geologist, and engineer who moved to New Mexico in 1890 to locate water wells in Carlsbad. Skeats worked out of El Paso putting his expertise in the natural sciences to work in many ventures from founding a cement plant to prospecting for potash. His paintings of wildflowers came about as part of his study to determine the proper time for planting sugar beets to increase yields. Skeats came up with new recommendations which improved the harvest in New Mexico and Arizona.
This exhibition, on loan from the University of New Mexico Art Museum, is a selection from a set of fifty-nine pieces. Contemporary notes on wildflowers by Harwood curator David L. Witt accompany the paintings. The art of botanical illustration has a long history. The pictures serve a scientific as well as an artistic purpose. The exhibition continues through March 21, 1999.
The Harwood Museum is located at #238 Ledoux Street with parking available in the museum parking lot on Ranchitos Road one block west of Taos Plaza. The Museum is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10 - 5 with an admission of $5.00. On Sundays, the Museum is open from 12-5, admission is free.
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
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