Hachiro Yuasa Memorial Museum special exhibition "Banks' Florilegium 4 from the ICU Library Collection"

Update: April 14, 2017

A special exhibition, "Banks' Florilegium 4 from the ICU Library Collection" is underway at the university's Hachiro Yuasa Memorial Museum between Tuesday, April 4, and Saturday, June 17.

Sir Joseph Banks (1743‒1820) accompanied Captain Cook on his first global voyage from 1768 to 1771 and collected huge amounts of botanical specimens. Also, nine botanists, botanical artists, landscape painters and others who accompanied Banks on the Endeavour had left sketches and watercolor illustrations. After they returned home, Banks planned to make original engravings on the basis of these collections and publish the prints together with a treatise. But not all of them saw the light of day in perfect form because of various circumstances.

Because of their high academic value, however, 100 limited sets of a full-color editions containing the entire 743 plates were printed by British publisher Alecto between 1980 and 1990 with the cooperation of the British Museum, 200 years after the original engravings were made. The university owns the entire Banks' Florilegium and has been exhibiting them gradually since 1996. On display at the current exhibition are 91 of the 183 drawings made in New Zealand as well as some pages of plant illustrations from "The Botanical Magazine" published in the 18th and 19th century.

The Banks' Florilegium is important as material not only in botany but also in science and history, but detailed and precisely drawn illustrations, colors and structural outlines are magnificent, and visitors can also enjoy them as works of art. Feel Banks' passion to seek unknown plants in the Age of Discovery.

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