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Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

Exhibitions Online

Items from the Archives collection are featured in the following online exhibitions.

Botanists’ Art: Selections from the Archives of the Hunt Institute

This exhibition includes drawings and photographs in the Hunt Institute Archives that are contained within the textual records of botanists who did not consider themselves artists. This exhibit examines three collections that intersect the disciplines of the scientist and the artist and considers the potential reinterpretation of these images outside of the restrictions of classically defined art forms.

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Fragments from the Botanical Frontier: Cultural History from Archives

This exhibit explores how botany was executed in the westward-moving North American frontier and the importance of archives in documenting that history. Fragments from the Botanical Frontier was a joint project between the Hunt Institute and the Missouri Botanical Garden and hung at the XVI International Botanical Congress in Saint Louis in 1999. This online exhibit is hosted by the Missouri Botanical Garden; by clicking this link you enter their site.

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Order from Chaos: Linnaeus Disposes

Carolus Linnaeus (also Carl von Linné, 1707–1778) was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist whose work laid the foundations of modern biological systematics and nomenclature. Long before Linnaeus, classical science was important in the shaping of subsequent science in the West. Transmitted through the cultures of the Mediterranean area, classical science was recovered during the Renaissance and ensuing Scientific Revolution and undergirded the search for a new botanical system. Drawing on the work of his predecessors and contemporaries, Linnaeus developed a coherent system for describing, classifying and naming organisms. Linnaeus' students traveled the globe to explore and collect information and specimens. Aspects of the Linnaean system have enabled amateurs and professionals worldwide to identify, name and describe plants for more than two centuries.

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Virtues and Pleasures of Herbs through History

Through history the virtues and pleasures of herbs have enhanced our daily lives and connected us to the natural world through all of our senses. Through the centuries herbs have been used not only for medicinal purposes but also to flavor and preserve food, to scent and protect household environments and to dye or stain the skin and textiles. From the countless cultivated or wild herbs with overlapping applications we have chosen a selection within the four categories of physic, flavor, fragrance and dye. Each topic provides highlights of the usage of five herbs at specific points in history. The 20 herbs are illustrated by original watercolors and prints, rare books or manuscript pages from the Hunt Institute's Art, Library and Archives collections.

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Barbara Taylor (Hodge, 1913–2009), typing field notes, etc. in the estate that she and Walter H. Hodge used for initiating fieldwork for the production of a flora of Dominica, with plant presses and collecting materials in the foreground, Lisdara Estate, Dominica, summer 1937, 13 × 18 cm, photograph by Walter H. Hodge, HI Archives portrait no. 23.