Event Date

October 1 - December 31, 2021
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM


Art at BRIT

Program Information

Free to the public.

Point of Contact

Erin Starr White

Community Education Manager

Visit our Upper Atrium Collections gallery and enjoy a selection of pieces drawn from the at Arader Natural History Collection of Art at BRIT. As one of the newest additions to the Library, this collection celebrates art, science, and the beauty of plants and nature. The Arader Natural History Collection is approaching 2,000 pieces and includes fine original hand-colored stipple engravings along with lithographs, and chromolithographs of flora and fauna by artists such as Mark Catesby, P.J. Redouté, John Gould, Joseph Carson, and Johnann Wilhelm Weinmann, as well as original watercolor drawings commissioned by William Roxburgh, a Scottish botanist and founding father of Indian botany.

Botany is a profoundly visual discipline, dependent on observation to identify and classify specimens. These works of art, most of which are from the Age of Exploration and Discovery (18th and early 19th centuries), help to bring this field of science in focus and alive. These artworks tell the story of the plants and animals they depict, transmitting important information about the natural world in which we live.

See past, current, and upcoming exhibitions in the Upper Atrium Collections Gallery here

View the online exhibition of the Arader Natural History Collection of Art

Mark Catesby, Convolvulus carolinensis, plate 35 from volume I of The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands by Mark Catesby (London, 1731).
Travelling under the auspices of the Royal Society, the English naturalist Mark Catesby (1683-1749) recorded the earliest scientific descriptions of the flora and fauna of the New World. He was the first naturalist to use folio-sized color plates in a natural history book, and etched the copper plates himself before hand-coloring each individual print with watercolors. Volume I of his monumental Natural History appeared in 1731, leading to Catesby’s election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society two years later. - courtesy The Royal Society

About Art at BRIT

Art at BRIT offers two distinctive art viewing spaces: the elegant Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall and the smaller, more intimate Upper Atrium Collections Gallery. The Samples Exhibit Hall showcases botanical art and artwork dealing with topics such as ecology, plants, sustainability, conservation, and the natural world – we highlight work by local and national artists, both well-known and emerging. The Upper Atrium Collections Gallery features a rotation of botanical and nature-based prints from our Library collection, including The Arader Natural History Collection of Art. We honor and celebrate the traditional roots of botanical art, while also expanding and redefining the field for the 21st century.