Plant Exploration, Then and Now

Plant Exploration, Then and Now

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November 9, 2018–March 12, 2019
Hunnewell Building Visitor Center

With this exhibition, we celebrate yesterday’s pioneering work by Sargent, Wilson, and many others for the defining role they played in making the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University among the most consequential collections of temperate plants on Earth. For me, it also acknowledges the palpable inspiration they give their present-day contemporaries in the field to remain endlessly curious and generous in acquiring and sharing knowledge. Along with the extraordinary plants they championed, it is a truly great and living legacy.William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

Plant collecting expeditions have been at the heart of the Arnold Arboretum since its inception. The wonder and appeal of Asian plants, the spirit of explorer par excellence Ernest Henry Wilson, and the vision of Arboretum directors from Charles Sprague Sargent and his inaugural expeditions to Director Ned Friedman and the Campaign for the Living Collections, exploration has made an indelible impact in perserving global biodiversity for study and conservation.

Learn more about the past, present, and future of the Arboretum’s work in plant exploration at a special exhibit in the Visitor Center of the Hunnewell Building, focused on sharing the stories of our expeditions in North America, Asia, and beyond. See the plants and locations encountered by our collectors a century ago, and contrast them contemporary efforts in many of the same places today.

Plant Exploration, Then and Now opens to the public on November 9, 2018 and runs through March 12, 2019.