Botanical Art Acquisition

If you’ve attended Botanical Art classes at the The Morton Arboretum, you’ve probably had the chance to see some of the rare prints and original artwork from the impressive collection held by The Sterling Morton Library

The Nature Artists’ Guild  recently made a donation to the arboretum to show our gratitude and to help contribute to their mission.  Our donation late last year was used by the library to purchase some contemporary artwork to add to their collection.  As Arlene Widrevitz, of the Rare Print Collection writes,

“The newest acquisitions in the Print Collection of The Sterling Morton Library were purchased with funds donated by The Nature Artists’ Guild.

Winter PortraitAsclepias syriaca by Karen Johnson is an example of scratchboard art. The scratchboard technique is normally associated with the use of ink, but here, Karen has created a black and white image with graphite. This original piece features dried milkweed pods with the seeds escaping against a prairie background.

Winter Portrait: Asclepias syriaca, © Karen Johnson

Sacred Union by Kimberly Mullarkey is an example of her delicate colored pencil work on a black background. The image is an imaginative combination of an insect with one wing outspread superimposed over the human skeleton.

Sacred Union, © Kimberly Mullarkey

Amanita muscaria  and Russula Bouquet II by Alexander “Sasha” Viazmensky represent his work in watercolor. Sasha specializes in portraying the mushrooms that he finds in the woods near his home in St. Petersburg, Russia. Sasha recently taught a class in mushroom painting here at the Arboretum, which was very popular with his students and everyone who was able to see his work and that of his class. Amanita muscaria is an original in watercolor and Russula Bouquet II is a print of his watercolor work.

Amanita muscaria, © Alexander Viazmensky


Russula Bouquet II, © Alexander Viazmensky

These works will be available for viewing in classes that feature these techniques. Also, anyone can make an appointment to view these artworks or any others here in the library. We do enjoy showing off our collections!”

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