224 pages, 170 illustrations
Botanical charts are experiencing a resurgence in interest, both as pieces of art and as objects of scientific and historical significance, and The Botanical Wallchart documents this extraordinary convergence of disciplines that flourished in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Europe was enjoying a golden age of botanical illustration, naturalists were exploring the globe, and there was a clamour for knowledge of the natural world. Intellectual curiosity was no longer limited to the few; education was now considered a right afforded to all, in classrooms across the continent. And thus the botanical wall chart was born, a synthesis of art, science and education. This collection of wall charts from all over the globe, each accompanied by text explaining its historical and botanical contexts, has been put together by botanist Anna Laurent, and will delight anyone with an interest in the natural world.
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Anna Laurent is a flora-focused writer and photographer. After studying biological anthropology and literature at Harvard University, she worked in documentary filmmaking before moving to Los Angeles, where she became dedicated to exploring the botanic diversity of Southern California. She collects and photographs seed pods around the United States and abroad, partnering with botanical gardens and arboreta to expand the project. She is contributing editor to Garden Design magazine, where she wrote two weekly columns: Art & Botany and Botanic Notables. Since 2010 she has been a writer and producer for an ongoing documentary called The Iraqi Seed Project, about heirloom species and economic botany in the Fertile Crescent. She currently lives in Los Angeles.