Press Release – Auckland Council
It’s not too late to see the golden age of botanical illustration at the Flowers, Fruit and Foliage exhibition at Auckland’s Central City Library which has been extended to 26 May.
The free exhibition features works from the 1500s to 1900s from Auckland Libraries’ Sir George Grey Special Collections. It includes rare illustrations of specimens by Joseph Banks, who accompanied Captain James Cook’s Endeavour voyage, which were not published until 1973.
Visitors can see the work of the foremost botanical illustrators of their day, including Pierre Redouté, Georg Ehret, Walter Fitch and Martha King. Martha King was New Zealand’s first resident botanical artist. Her illustrations were used to advertise New Zealand in 1845.
Kate de Courcy, Sir George Grey Special Collections librarian and exhibition curator says examples of Cyanotype, an early form of photography, as well as albums of flowers and foliage are also showcased.
“Before botanical photography there was illustration. Not only are these incredibly informative they are stand-alone artworks. This exhibition is a must see for historians, plant and art lovers alike.”
“Many of these books and illustrations have historical significance not only as an art form, but for New Zealand as a new botanical frontier to explore.”
For those who cannot physically visit the library, or to get a taste of what’s on show, there are two online exhibitions:
For more information and visiting hours go to www.aucklandlibraries.govt.nz or call 09 301 0101.