The American University Library is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit featuring illustrations from botanical publications in the Artemas Martin Collection.
The primary goal of botanical illustration is scientific accuracy. Plants are presented so they can be recognized and distinguished from other species. Botanical illustrations became more accurate in color and detail with the major advances in printing during the 18th century. The most talented botanical artists such as Isaac Sprague created illustrations that went beyond their scientific requirements to become works of art. Though amateur botanists, gardeners, and natural historians were the main market for botanical publications such as those in this exhibit, the illustrations increased their allure and accessibility to the general reader.
The18th and 19th Century Botanical Illustrations from the Artemas Martin Collection will be on display on the third floor of the Library through the end of the summer.