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Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation


The Twelve Months of Fruits: April

1 April 2022

Although an early architect rendering sketch of the penthouse included trees along the terrace, Roy Hunt was not enthusiastic about having any plant material growing on the roof. However, Rachel had five gardens at Elmhurst, their home on Ellsworth Avenue, and it seems unlikely that she wasn't envisioning a rooftop garden at her new library. Likely, she and Roy would have reached a compromise as they did with the use of aluminum in the penthouse. They experimented with iron furniture designs for the terrace but halted plans by 30 April 1962 to better consider their options. Sadly, Rachel didn't see another spring, and our terrace remains unadorned by her guiding hand while we ponder what might have been. Instead we turn to The Twelve Months of Fruits (1732) for inspiration. April offers more varieties of apples and pears, adds a bit of citrus with oranges, lemons and limes and tops it with a cherry.

For biographical information about artist Pieter Casteels (1684–1749) and publisher Robert Furber (ca.1674–ca.1756), see our Flora Portrayed exhibition catalogue.

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About the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, a research division of Carnegie Mellon University, specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science and serves the international scientific community through research and documentation. To this end, the Institute acquires and maintains authoritative collections of books, plant images, manuscripts, portraits and data files, and provides publications and other modes of information service. The Institute meets the reference needs of botanists, biologists, historians, conservationists, librarians, bibliographers and the public at large, especially those concerned with any aspect of the North American flora.

Media Contact:
Scarlett T. Townsend