Botanical Watercolors from the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland (Online)
By James J. White and Lugene B. Bruno with essays by Pieter Baas and Erik A. de Jong. 2004. 64 pp.; 50 col., 1 b&w figs.; 7 1/2 x 10"; 12 oz. Pictorial stiff paper cover. ISBN 0-913196-77-0.
This fully illustrated catalogue accompanied an exhibition of 48 watercolors and drawings from the 17th to 19th centuries on loan from the collection of the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Leiden University branch, Leiden. Never before seen in North America, this selection represented artists such as Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759–1840), Abraham Munting (1626–1683), Laurens Jacobs van der Vinne (1712–1742), Johan Christian Peter Arkenhausen (1784–1855), Carel Boschart Voet (1670–1743) and Nicholas Meerburgh (1734–1814). These artworks depicted plants from Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, North America, and particularly South Africa. Some of the paintings were made from specimens in the botanical garden developed at Leiden University in the early 1590s; others were acquired by two 18th-century collectors associated with the university, which now coordinates activities of the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland. The catalogue also included a history of the Leiden Botanic Garden by Pieter Baas, director of the herbarium, and an essay about plants as nature and art by Erik de Jong, professor and associate director of Garden History and Landscape Studies at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture in New York.