Entwined: Botany, Art and the Lost Cat Swamp Habitat
Exhibit Gallery, John Hay Library, Brown University
January 10, 2019 through April 30, 2019
This exhibition is a unique collaboration between the John Hay Library, The Brown University Herbarium, the Rhode Island Historical Society and the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society. It is the first public showing of original watercolor paintings by Providence artist Edward Lewis Peckham. They will be shown together with specimens from the Brown University Herbarium.
Peckham was born in 1812 and lived in Providence until his death in 1889. The RI Historical Society has an astonishing portfolio of his botanical watercolors that are exacting studies of native Rhode Island wildflowers. The exhibit matches some of Peckham’s paintings with herbarium specimens of the same species. The paintings and specimens all come from the lost Cat Swamp habitat on the East Side of Providence.
Cat Swamp, a local hotspot of botanical diversity, was destroyed following development of the Wayland and Blackstone neighborhoods in the early 1900s. The exhibit showcases the rich history of art and science in Providence and provokes viewers to consider the impacts of urban development on biodiversity.
The John Hay Library is located at 20 Prospect Street in Providence. It is open Monday–Thursday 10 am – 6 pm, Friday 10 am – 5 pm. Closed Saturday & Sunday. Parking is on the street.
Special programs offered in conjunction with this exhibit:
Botanical Art: The History of Botanical Art from Earliest Times to the Present | January 19 | John Hay Library
Botanical Illustration Class | March 16 | Rhode Island School of Design
Tour Brown University Herbarium | March 29 |Brown University Herbarium