Natural Selections: Flora and the Arts

February 27, 2016 - April 02, 2017 | 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Lobby, Flynt Center of Early New England Life


Natural Selections: Flora and the Arts explores through more than 20 objects how nature has inspired, impressed, and enlightened society long before the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859. Using three themes, the exhibition explores the subject of flora and how it inspired the decorative arts.

“Botanical Studies” looks at the movement to classify, study, and teach though a selection of educational books and prints detailing floral anatomy and stages of life. “Art in Nature” delves into the museum’s rich collection of decorative arts to see how plants and flowers have influenced designers and craftspeople in fields as diverse as textiles, ceramics, furniture, and architecture. Finally, “Domesticating the Outdoors” showcases ceramic and glass vessels which brought colorful and fragrant flowers and plants indoors for personal enjoyment and study.