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Florilegium: A Plant Compendium

ARTDES 352.001, Fall 2024


Credit Hours: 3
Semester: Fall 2024

Prerequisites: ANY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: ARTDES 205: Intro to Painting: Organizing Visual Space, ARTDES 270: Visualizing and Depicting Ideas. PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR IS REQUIRED.

Description: This course is an investigation of a place and its plants through drawing and painting and identifying by name. The integration of science, art, natural history, nature and design are key to the course. The endeavor is to encourage the discovery of plants as a subject of art and design and to express one’s interest in the plant world. Drawing inspiration from the ways artists engage with the shapes, life systems, and cultural meanings of plant life, and incorporating hands-on fieldwork, library research, and studio activity, students in Florilegium: Creating a Plant Compendium create a handmade book of drawings and paintings inspired by a semester-long investigation into wide-ranging topics relating to plants, art, design, and nature. My idea for the class stems from my encounter with The Banks’ Florilegium, an eighteenth-century book of plant illustrations created by Sir Joseph Banks and Daniel Solande while they traveled with Captain Cook on his worldwide voyage. Taking The Banks’ Florilegium as a model, students pursue their own scientific and artistic exploration of plants to create a compendium of artworks that details each student’s area of research. The idea of a florilegium” may be expressed in many ways. Each person will develop their own ideas along the way about a theme for their final book. This course, by design, is front loaded and begins as a wide funnel”. Don’t be in a rush- The process is what it is about! The final format of the work for this class will be an accordion book made with original drawings/​paintings from field observation, photographs, study and studio work.

Frequency: This course is typically offered in the fall term of every academic year, though scheduling may vary according to future term circumstances.