Redouté to Warhol: Bunny Mellon's Botanical Art 2016American Impressionism 2016FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life 2015Flora Illustrata 2014Groundbreakers 2014The Renaissance Herbal 2013Monet's Garden 2012A Forest in the City 2011Spanish Paradise 2011On Broadway 2011Emily Dickinson's Garden 2010Georg Ehret 2009Ex Libris 2009Kiku 2008Darwin's Garden 2008Plants of Japan 2007Paradise in Print 2007Buried Treasures 2006Dutch Watercolors 2006Glasshouses 2005America's Cornucopia 2003European Pleasure Gardens 2003Plants and Gardens Portrayed 2002
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Exhibitions in the Rondina and LoFaro Art Gallery  

Last Updated: Apr 11, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

The Renaissance Herbal 2013 Print Page

The Renaissance Herbal

May 18 - September 8, 2013

 Books on display in glass cases in the gallery

With a beautiful array of rare, richly illustrated manuscripts and early printed works, The Renaissance Herbal in the Rondina and LoFaro Gallery of The New York Botanical Garden’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library told the story of how ancient and medieval knowledge about the medicinal qualities of plants survived into the Renaissance, when herbals flourished as a manifestation of that period’s intellectual curiosity and spirit of scientific inquiry.

Describing plants and their useful properties, herbals are among the oldest known written and printed works in both Western and Eastern civilizations and contain the earliest recorded descriptions of the plant kingdom. The Mertz Library, the world’s largest library devoted to botany and horticulture, has a particularly rich collection of herbals.

On display from May 18 through September 8, 2013, The Renaissance Herbal  featured more than 50 printed books and manuscripts, drawn almost exclusively from the Library’s collection. The most extensive exhibition of rare herbals to be shown in the United States in decades, The Renaissance Herbal is the Library component of Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, Featuring The Italian Renaissance Garden, the Botanical Garden’s multifaceted exploration of how medicinal plants have been used to cure and rejuvenate people since ancient times.

Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi, curator of The Renaissance Herbal, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Art History at the Universita di Pisa. A prolific writer, Dr. Tomasi focuses on the relationships among art, science, and nature. 

Digitized Titles in This Exhibition


Look through selected rare books from The Renaissance Herbal by clicking on the titles below:

Digitized Titles in This Exhibition through Biodiversity Heritage Library

Other editions of books shown in this exhibition can be found through the Biodiversity Heritage Library, to which the Mertz Library is a contributor.
Here is a sampling:

Recommended Reading

Titles not found in the Mertz Library's catalog are linked to WorldCat.

Cover Art
The Renaissance herbal - New York Botanical Garden
Call Number: QK 99 .N47 2013
ISBN: 9780893279813
Publication Date: 2013

Cover Art
The Medieval Health Handbook--Tacuinum Sanitatis - Arano, Luisa Gogliati
Publication Date: New York: G. Braziller, 1976
Translated and adapted by Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook

Cover Art
Botany in the Low Countries (End of the 15th Century - ca. 1650): Plantin-Moretus Museum Exhibition
Call Number: QK 296 .B37 1993
Publication Date: Antwerp: Plantin-Moretus Museum, 1993

Cover Art
An Illustrated History of the Herbals - Frank J. Anderson
Call Number: QK 99 .A495
ISBN: 0231040024
Publication Date: 1977-12-01
Former Honorary Curator of Rare Books, Frank J. Anderson, did invaluable research on the Mertz Library's collection and published this tome as a result.

Cover Art
Herbals Through 1500. The Illustrated Bartsch, vol. 1 & 2 - Frank J. Anderson, Editor
Call Number: QK 99 .H49
Publication Date: New York: Abaris Books, 1983-84

Cover Art
Major Medicinal Plants: Botany, Culture, and Uses - Julia F. Morton
Call Number: QK 99 .M659
ISBN: 039803673X
Publication Date: Springfield, Ill: Thomas, 1977

Cover Art
The Renaissance Print, 1470-1550 - David Landau; Peter W. Parshall
Call Number: NE441.5.R44 L35 1994
ISBN: 0300068832
Publication Date: New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994

Cover Art
Carolus Clusius: Towards a Cultural History of a Renaissance Naturalist - Florike Egmond (Editor); Paul G. Hoftijzer (Editor); Robert P. W. Visser (Editor)
Call Number: QH31.L4 C37 2007
ISBN: 9789069845067
Publication Date: Amsterdam: Koninklijke Nederlandse Akadenie van Wetenschappen, 2007

Cover Art
Herbals - Their Origin and Evolution - Agnes Arber
Call Number: QK14.5 .A73 1938
ISBN: 1108016715
Publication Date: Cambridge: at the University Press, 1938

Cover Art
The Old English Herbals - Eleanour Sinclair Rohde
Call Number: QK21.G7 R6 1971
ISBN: 0486211061
Publication Date: New York, Dover, 1971

Cover Art
Handbook of Plant and Floral Ornament from Early Herbals - Richard G. Hatton
Call Number: QK98 .H33 1960
Publication Date: New York: Dover Publications, 1960

Cover Art
Medieval Herbals: The Illustrative Traditions - Minta Collins
Call Number: QK98.15 .C64 2000
ISBN: 0712346384
Publication Date: Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000

Cover Art
Visualizing Medieval Medicine and Natural History, 1200-1500 - Jean A. Givens; Karen M. Reeds; Alain Touwaide
Call Number: R141 .V57 2006
ISBN: 0754652963
Publication Date: Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2006

Cover Art
Herbarium: Natural Remedies from a Medieval Manuscript - Emma Pirani and Adalberto Pazzini
Call Number: RS79 .T4625 1980
ISBN: 0847803058
Publication Date: New York: Rizzoli, 1980
Translated by Michael Langley

Cover Art
The Book in the Renaissance - Andrew Pettegree
Call Number: Z291.3 .P48 2010
ISBN: 9780300110098
Publication Date: New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010

Cover Art
The Cleveland Herbal, Botanical, and Horticultural Collections - Stanley H. Johnston (Compiled by)
Call Number: Z5352 .J64 1992
ISBN: 0873384334
Publication Date: Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1992


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