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Essays, Interviews, Resources

Timeline of Mee’s Life Glossary Further Reading Student Activities



Margaret Mee, 1964, 66 × 48 cm, gouache, signed and dated “Margaret Mee, Tabebuia umbellata. Cult. São Paulo, Proc. Butantã, August 1964”

Margaret Mee/Portraits of Plants

By Yota Batsaki

The long tradition of plant representation combines the resources of art and science. While botanical art has been associated with aesthetic pleasure and botanical illustration with scientific documentation, both media draw on close observation, curiosity, and admiration for the natural world.

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Mattioli Woodblocks in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection

By Jessie Wei-Hsuan Chen

The Dumbarton Oaks rare book collection holds three of the more than 100 surviving woodblocks in the editions of the Commentarii in sex libros Pedacii Dioscoridis de medica materia by Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1501–1577) that were published in 1562 and 1565. The Dumbarton Oaks woodblocks depict the plants Imperatoria, Galega sive ruta, and Lychnis.

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Nirupa Rao (b. 1990), 2019, 45.7 × 61 cm, watercolor. Loan, Nirupa Rao

Botanical Art and Ecosystem Preservation

By Nirupa Rao

Being only a few hours’ drive from Bangalore, the Ghats were where my family and I would escape the first chance we could, and so they have always held special significance. My maternal uncle was so in love with the area that he spent his scientific career documenting its flora for the Smithsonian Foundation. And so ever since I was a child, I have associated botany with adventure, discovery, and excitement.

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