Massachusetts Horticultural Society has a vast collection of beautiful botanical prints, ranging from around 1620-1971, in the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library, located in the Education Building at the Garden at Elm Bank. It is the oldest library of its kind in the country, and encompasses some amazing artifacts, from rare volumes to seed catalogues. When you next visit the Garden at Elm Bank, you can visit this library in the Education Building, and explore some fascinating items in horticulture history, and browse the books that are available to buy and for MHS Members to borrow.
As these botanical prints display, art can be a meaningful way to connect with the natural world. Capturing the wonder of nature in any art form, whether it is a painting, a photograph, or even poetry, allows you to share that connection with others as well. Art can inspire us to enjoy the natural world and appreciate all of its wonders, from the smallest winter bud to the largest summer bloom. After looking at these prints, you may even be inspired to draw the blooms in your own garden at home!
To celebrate the last weeks of summer, here is a list of ten cheerful and colorful prints that will help you enjoy the remainder of the season.
Pierre Joseph Redouté
This beautiful print depicts a flowering chicory plant. Pierre Joseph Redouté, the painter of this print, was a Belgian botanical artist, and also a botanist.
Calopogon pulchellus, R. brown
Isaac Sprague’s print of a Calopogon flower is delicate and enchanting, with entwined stems blooming with pink blossoms.
This delicate painting, created by Pancrace Bessa, is of an ox-eye daisy, a beautiful flower that is native to some parts of Asia, as well as Europe.
This print is particularly striking, with the bright reds and greens boldly complementing each other. Created by S. Holden, it depicts a begonia flower.
Sagittaria variabilis, engelm
This painting portrays a cluster of cheerful white blooms, surrounded by three large and intriguingly arrow-shaped leaves.
Henry G. Moon
Henry G. Moon’s print of an orchid shows delicate purple flowers draping over a shadowed background.
Bidens chrysanthemoides, michx
The sunny yellow blooms in this print of a bur-marigold, by Isaac Sprague, are reminiscent of golden summer afternoons.
This bouquet, by Jean Louis Prévost, is a summery collection of colorful blooms, gathered together in a lively cluster. The energy and composition of this piece is especially beautiful.
Ann V. Webster
Ann V. Webster’s print displays two striking purple blooms that open up on the page out towards the viewer, framed by vibrant leaves.
Margaret Stones’ print of an Acacia alata shrub displays a few branches with bright yellow blooms, seemingly bursting with life, energy, and color. This piece is perfect for this time of year, as we enjoy the bright blooms of August before autumn arrives.
These ten prints are only a few in our large collection. You can explore these prints online, or come and visit the Garden at Elm Bank to view some prints and other unique items in our archives and collections. Perhaps these beautiful botanical prints will inspire you to get out into nature and enjoy the beauty around you.