Slide lectures by Jennie Summerall
The relationship between humans and the natural world has inspired, across cultures and millennia, a cornucopia of artistic images depicting plants and flowers. We are “biophiles,” and our love of the botanical realm has moved us to capture its various and fleetingly beautiful forms for purposes both decorative and descriptive .
The Constant Garden is a thought-provoking introduction to the myriad ways in which natural forms have influenced human visual and material culture. Each talk includes dozens of beautiful images from the history of art and the decorative arts, and lasts just under an hour.
“The presentation was so interesting and
informative our members were spellbound.”
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“The presentation was fantastic.....two green thumbs up for The Constant Garden!”
The Constant Garden (West)
shows how artists ranging from the muralists of ancient Rome to installation artists of the 20th century have drawn inspiration from nature. Along the way we’ll look at medieval tapestries and manuscripts, artists from the Age of Discovery who documented botanical wonders arriving in Europe from the far corners of the earth (including two fascinating women, Maria Merian and Mary Delany,) Dutch still lifes, decorative arts from the nineteenth century, Pop art “botanicals” and more.
The Constant Garden (East)
takes us to the non-western world, exploring botanical images from the fine and decorative arts of Asia. We’ll examine flower painting traditions in China and Japan, Mughal decoration in many forms including the Taj Mahal, the stylization of floral forms in tribal textiles, contemporary Asian artists using botanical forms for inspiration, and more!
JENNIE SUMMERALL is an artist and independent lecturer who lives and works in the Boston area. She has painted commissioned portraits and other work for many years. These include a painting of biologist and author E. O. Wilson which hangs at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. She holds an M.Ed from Harvard, has taught at several schools and lectures regularly on the history of art. She is intrigued by the intersection of human civilization and the natural world and explores that theme in both her paintings and her talks.