June 6 – August 30, 2015
A collaboration between Philadelphia’s Center for Art in Wood and Bartram’s Garden resulted in unusual and inspired artworks. John Bartram, America’s first botanist, shipped to British clients wooden boxes he filled with seeds, dried plant, and natural history curiosities that transformed the European landscape with colorful specimens from New World gardens. These eighteenth-century seed sales supported his Philadelphia botanic garden and three generations of research. The featured artists “remixed” Bartram’s history, materials, and legacy, using wood salvaged from trees felled by a 2010 storm at Philadelphia’s Bartram’s Garden.
Dixie Biggs & Ray Jones, Arca Botanicum, 2013, box: walnut, cherry, boxwood; seed/pods: boxwood from Bartram’s Garden; photo by Randy Batista
Ron Fleming, Franklin Tree, 2012, tulip wood from Bartram’s Garden
Judith Rosenthal, Bartram Boxes, 2012, porcelain, box: wood, plexiglass top; photo by the artist and John Carlano
Paul and John Santoleri, Boxtreetower, 2013, spalted maple, cucumber magnolia, rainbow poplar, glass, enamel, LED lights, electronics and hardware; photo by Paul Santoleri
Beth Feldman Brandt & Claire Owen, Storms Box, 2012-13, raw silk cover; inside left: honey locust disk; inside right: honey locust seed pods, commonplace book with digital text and graphite drawings on dyed paper, scroll has graphite drawing and text; photo by John Carlano