Glimpsing The Forests and Gardens of South India Exhibition
One of the jewels of the RBGE Archives is on show in India this winter thanks to the wonders of technology.
Dr Henry Noltie, a Research Associate for RBGE has travelled to India where he is holding an exhibition celebrating the work of Hugh Cleghorn of Stravithie. The exhibition, titled The Forests and Gardens of South India: the Cleghorn collection of botanical drawings, that Noltie has curated shows reproductions of 54 watercolour drawings commissioned by Cleghorn in the 1840’s and 1850’s showing a variety of Indian plant species.
Having originally been shown at RBGE this exhibition is on at the DakshinaChitra Museum in Chennai, India where it will run until January 30th before moving to the Goethe-Zentrum in Hyderabad for the month of February. Each of the drawings are accompanied by notes from Noltie who spent much of his career researching the history of Indian Botany and led the Flora of Bhutan project for its concluding years. While the original drawings are too precious to be removed from their secure location at RBGE herbarium by using high quality scanning and printing the copies are still incredible to look at.
This exhibition was made possible by the work of Hugh Cleghorn (1820-1895) who spent much of his life in India and was a keen plant enthusiast. Cleghorn was a Scottish medic in the 1800s who documented the plants he came across while living and working in India. He employed local Indian artists to paint the plants he found and recorded any observations he made on the plants in his collection. After his death his collection was split and RBGE acquired some of his books.
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