Rare Books, GCA and The Grolier…

GCA cakeThe Garden Club of America 100th Birthday continues with a dream exhibition from their Rare Book Collection, which opened last week.

Grolier Club exhibitIt is only a hop across the street and down the block to the venerable Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, NYC, where the exhibit “Gardening by the Book” is beautifully installed.

GCA BookGCA Library Chairman, Arete Warren is the curator of the exhibit and has written the engaging and scholarly book which examines the collection and tells the history of the books, often with delightful stories of how they came to the GCA.

GCA Rare Book: George Edwards“A Natural History of Birds, most of which have not been figur’d or describ’d, and others very little known from obscure or too brief Descriptions without Figures, or from Figures very ill design’d”   How is that for a long title?  This book, center, is by George Edwards, London 1743-51.  The colors of the illustrations are still fresh and vibrant.

GCA Rare Book: Mark CatesbyMark Catesby’s magnolia from “Natural History of the Carolinas…”  1771 is  displayed opened in the exhibit.

Flora Danica TureenA superb Flora Danica Tureen with Cover and Planter is one of the only non-book items in the exhibit.  It is shown with the GCA’s copy (1777) of the original “Flora Danica”, a Danish florilegium, used as source material for the porcelain design.

GCA Rare Book: ThorntonRobert John Thornton, 1799-1807, a plate with the title: The Night Blowing (sic) Cereus.

GCA Rare Book: AmaryllisIn a huge case, the work of Priscilla Susan Faulkner, an esteemed female botanical illustrator of the early and mid 19C.  This is a book solely about Amaryllis and Lilies.  What a wonderful style of composition she has!

GCA Rare Books in a rowIn the center of this row, “The Clematis As A Garden Flower”, 1877, was written by nurseryman Thomas Jackman with botanist Thomas Moore. Introduced in 1862, Clematis ‘jackmanii  was named for him.  Just beyond is “Reichenbachia: orchids illustrated and described”, 1888-94.

Sedgwick color chartA hand tipped color chart from Mabel Cabot Sedgwick’s “The Garden Month by Month DESCRIBING the appearance, color, dates of bloom, height and cultivation of all desirable, HARDY HERBACEOUS PERENIALS, for the formal or wild garden with additional lists of vines, ferns, etc.”  An even-longer book title from 1907 and the only book in the exhibit that I also have on my shelf.    Long Hill her summer home in Beverly MA is open to the public.

GCA Rare Books: JapanI had a glimpse last August of some of the Japanese books in the collection.

GCA Rare Book: Floral dictionarytGardening by The Book”  has even more exquisite color illustrations for some of the books than can be shown in the exhibit.  The GCA has a gem of a collection and this exhibition allows them to share it with visitors to the Grolier Club.  It runs until July 27th, 2013.  Don’t miss it.

Flowers at the GrolierBravo, Bouquets and hugs to Amelia for a superb job.

Bill Cunningham's colu,mLast Tuesday it was the place to be!


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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2 Responses to Rare Books, GCA and The Grolier…

  1. Betsy Shequine says:

    Susan: You keep out-doing yourself!! This is terrific, and you even got the Bill Cunningham version of Arete! Congratulations!

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