Catalogue of the Botanical Art Collection
at the Hunt Institute

Database Introduction

The collection of botanical art and illustration in the Department of Art at the Hunt Institute is one of the world's largest and most broadly representative. It includes over 30,000 original works — paintings (mostly watercolors), drawings and original prints — dating from the Renaissance onward. In 1979, Curator of Art James J. White with the assistance of Elizabeth R. Smith began to compile a database of the art collection, which was published as the Catalogue of the Botanical Art Collection at the Hunt Institute (1985–1998). That database is now online, complete with images of most of the uncolored, pre-1900 artworks in the collection. New information is incorporated as it becomes available. (For more information about specific works in the collection, please visit the Art Department page.)

© 2001 by Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation. All Rights Reserved.

Data Fields

Artist Name
Names of artists are given surname first.

Artist Nationality
The nationalities given are not necessarily those of legal citizenship. Dual nationalities are listed for some artists associated significantly with more than one country.

Dates of Artist
Dates of birth and/or death or active period of the artist are given if known.

The scientific binomials of the plants depicted (generic names and specific epithets) are listed only if known with some certainty (more often than not, genus only), based on authoritative accompanying notes, publications or subsequent specialist identifications; when more than one taxonomic entity is represented in a work, each is listed on a separate line and alphabetically. The family or class attributions given for flowering plants (angiosperms) and coniferous plants (gymnosperms) are according to the classification in K. W. von De Dalla Torre and H. Harms, Genera Siphonogamarum ad Systema Engleriana Conscripta (1908; reprint Wiesbaden, 1963); those for non-vascular plants (algae, fungi, lichens, mosses and liverworts) and for ferns and fern-allies are according to that in A. Engler's Syllabus der Pflanzenfamilien (Berlin-Nikolassee, 1954–1964). The following works are also helpful references with regard to classification: G. C. Ainsworth, Ainsworth & Bisby's Dictionary of the Fungi (Kew, England, 1971); M. R. Crosby and R. E. Magill, A Dictionary of Mosses (St. Louis, 1978); P. C. Silva, Names of Classes and Families of Living Algae (Utrecht, 1980); and E. B. Copeland, Genera Filicum: The Genera of Ferns (New York, 1947).

Artwork Title
Titles of artworks (usually binomials, sometimes with common names) are rendered within quotation marks and are transcribed from the works themselves or their publication contexts. Imputed titles and any supplementary information are given in brackets.

For plant portraits, a brief description of the subject is included when only a portion of the plant is depicted (e.g., a single leaf, flower or fruit, winter twig, floral details) or when a special feature is included (e.g., a conspicuous insect). The description is omitted if the work adequately represents the plant as a whole (including fertile material in the case of a seed plant). For decorative, horticultural, and some non-botanical subjects, a terse description (e.g., flowers; roses in vase; pruning; gardener's tools) is included.

Names of printmakers are given surname first. Dates of birth and/or death or active period are given if known.

The signature is given as it appears on the artwork and with its location (t = top; b = bottom; l = left; r = right; c = center).

Place of Execution
Place indicates where the artwork was executed.

Date of Execution
Date indicates when the artwork was executed.

Medium indicates either the physical material applied to produce the image (e.g., gouache, ink, oil, watercolor) or the printmaking technique employed to create it (e.g., engraving, etching, woodcut).

Support indicates the material upon which the image is borne (e.g., paper, illustration board, vellum, canvas).

Image Size
Image size indicates the actual image size or plate mark in the case of prints.

Dimensions of artworks are included in the database but were omitted from the published catalogue.

For a print, the first number given is its sequence number in the edition; the second is the total number of prints in the edition. When the print is an artist's proof, that designation appears instead of numbers.

"For" denotes a work reproduced in the publication cited; "From" denotes an original print that was itself included in the publication cited. When the artwork obviously has been published but the publication is unknown, any information printed on the work is cited in quotation marks, followed by indication of its location.

Accession Number
The Hunt Institute's accession number is given.

Additional remarks are sometimes provided.

We have added most of the uncolored, pre-1900 artworks in the collection. Copyright, credit and downloading information for specific images are included within the database. For those works in the public domain, the images can be downloaded from the database for publication. These images vary in size. If the image you wish to print will not fit on one page, you may need to adjust your printing preferences. To inquire about publishing other images, please contact the Art Department.


Preparation and publication of this catalogue have been made possible in part by support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency (grants 02-4420-285, 12-4420-526 and 22-4420-139).

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