by Jody Williams, ASBA Public Relations Chair, via Leslie Walker

What began in 2006 with a preliminary call for entries to the membership of the American Society of Botanical Artists is culminating in the final showing of Losing Paradise? Endangered Plants Here and Around the World, a botanical art exhibition in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, UK. The exhibition opens Saturday, June 25 as part of a broader exhibition Plants in Peril which will be on view at the gallery until Sunday, October 16.

The exhibition opened at the Missouri Botanical Garden October 5, 2009 with an address by world renowned botanist and then President of the Garden, Dr. Peter Raven. It traveled to the Chicago Botanic Garden in January, The New York Botanical Garden in May, and concluded its originally planned tour of the United States at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Then thanks in part to the efforts of Dr. Sherwood, a strong supporter of Losing Paradise? over the years, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, UK was added to the schedule, the first International venue for an ASBA exhibition.

A catalog of the exhibition including images of the artwork and stories of each plant and the artists that depicted them as well as essays by leading plant scientists and conservationists is available for sale from the ASBA. A blog site showing artwork from the exhibition with excerpts from the catalog and hundreds of links to resources about the plants, conservation efforts, the artists, and other organizations is accessible online. A video interview with professional illustrator Alice Tangerini, images of herbarium specimens of the plants, and downloadable lesson plans based on the exhibition are available online from the Smithsonian Institute. See the links below:

ASBA Exhibition Website

Information about the exhibition at Kew

Information about the American Society of Botanical Artists

Exhibition Catalog

Smithsonian Exhibition Webpage

Smithsonian Lesson Plans

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