San Francisco Botanical GardenAbout San Francisco Botanical Garden
Artists' Reception
Thursday, September 17

Original paintings and giclee prints are available for sale with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Library

Art Exhibit

The Legacy of Luther Burbank

Paintings by Sonoma County Colored Pencil Artists
September 2 – December 30, 2015

Colored pencil artists of Sonoma County present an exhibit of original artwork focused on select fruits, vegetables, flowers and trees developed by famed experimental horticulturalist Luther Burbank. Nina Antze, art instructor for many Botanical Garden classes, has coordinated the exhibit.


The plants depicted are located at Luther Burbank's Gold Ridge Experiment Farm in Sebastopol and the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens in Santa Rosa, and were created through Burbank's experiments or are currently growing in his Experimental Garden. The artists selected specimens from the gardens and observed them throughout the changing seasons. Drawings and color studies were prepared and ultimately compositions selected and the drawings completed. With this remarkable set of paintings the artists have created a botanical record, a Florilegium, representing the legacy of Luther Burbank.

From the Artists

The project has been a wonderful learning experience for all of us. Many of the trees at the farm are no longer marked and in a few cases we had to depend on the memory of volunteers or do internet research to determine what we were drawing. We have done copious reading of the books and articles written about Burbank. We have an "elusive" plumcot and a "mystery" plum that will not ripen and "makes terrible jam." We have braved the rains in the spring of 2013 when we were touring the farm and now our California drought is stressing many of the plants. The more research we do the more we realize we are not just documenting a garden but also the man responsible for it.

Luther Burbank's work reflects so many of the same values of botanical artists - a love of the beauty and science of plants and a desire to make them even more beautiful and present them to the world. As Burbank said, "Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul."

Included with the paintings is historical information in poster form and quotes and commentaries on the various plants.

For more information see Nina Antze's article in the December 2014 issue of Botanical Artist, "The Legacy of Luther Burbank".


General Exhibit Information

The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture is recognized as one of the finest horticultural resources in the nation. Its 27,000-volume collection ranges from new gardening titles to antique herbals. The Library is open, free of charge, from 10am–4pm, every day except Tuesdays and major holidays.

Exhibitions of plant- and garden-related drawings, paintings, photographs and educational displays run for four-month periods. The artwork in our exhibitions are available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Library. For more information, call (415) 661-1316 ext. 403.

Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries

Member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries
An international organization whose purpose is to initiate and improve communications among persons and institutions concerned with the development, maintenance and use of libraries of botanical and horticultural literature.
SFBGS and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department San Francisco Botanical Garden's beauty and value as a major cultural resource are the result of a successful public/private partnership between San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

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