For more than a century, The New York Botanical Garden has developed world renowned library, herbarium, and living plant collections to support its mission to be the best place to study and enjoy plants. Cultured Conifers, an exhibition that celebrates the opening of the renovated Benenson Ornamental Conifers, draws from each of these collections to create an enlightening view of conifers in nature, gardens, and commerce. A sampling of rare and beautiful illustrations and texts from the LuEsther T. Mertz Library and conifer cones and seeds from the Herbarium and the Garden's living collections combine to tell a captivating story of the diversity, utility, and beauty of conifers.
From a late 15th-century German woodcut of an apothecary to a series of hand-colored conifer portraits by contemporary botanical artist Bobbi Angell, Cultured Conifers underscores the breadth of the collections of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library. These works are more than just beautiful; they are an essential resource for the world's botanists and gardeners, as are the cones and seeds from the herbarium and the living collections, which are on public display for the first time.
This exhibition is as attractive to behold as it is informative to study. I would like to thank the library staff for all that they have taught me about the vast resources available in the library collections and to extend a special thanks to Marie Long, Reference Librarian and curator of this exciting exhibition.
Associate Vice President for Horticulture and Living Collections
Larix griffithii. Hand-colored lithograph Walter Hood Fitch in Illustrations of Himalayan Plants by Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817—1911) London; [L. Reeve], 1855 Special Book Fund Purchase, 1910
Sciadopitys verticillata. Lithograph finished by hand Unsigned in Flore des serres et des jardins d'Europe by Emile Rodigas Gand: Louis van Houtte, 1859—1861