The Catesby Commemorative Trust, along with the Society for the History of Natural History and the Garden Club of America, will gather top international scholars to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Englishman Mark Catesby’s arrival in North America. The six-day, three-city conference will include lectures from more than 20 presenters from various disciplines that include art, wildlife, natural history, conservation and economics.
From November 4-9th, 2012 senior academics, historians and curators will gather in Richmond, VA, Washington, DC and Charleston & Kiawah, SC to lecture, present, lead tours and facilitate discussion about the artist, explorer, scientist, horticulturalist, and conservationist, Mark Catesby. Institutions represented in the Tercentennial include: the Smithsonian, Oxford University, University of Amsterdam, Harvard University, Yale University, Brown University, Cornell University, Royal (Kew) Botanic Gardens, US Botanic Garden, and the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to view Catesby artworks, plant species he encountered and his landmark publication Natural History of Carolina, Florida & the Bahama Islands.
The Tercentennial conference will begin in Richmond, Virginia on November 4th with a screening of the public television documentary, “The Curious Mr. Catesby,” an exhibition of Catesby etchings, and lectures by scholars, authors and historians on Catesby’s Forerunners and Catesby’s World, the landscape of the areas in which he lived and worked.
The program moves to Washington, DC on November 6th where The Smithsonian Institution will host a series of lectures on both Catesby’s Art and Catesby’s Science. The US Botanic Garden will welcome conference attendees with a reception and exhibit of Catesby-related plants.
The final location for the six-day conference is Kiawah Island, South Carolina with events in nearby Charleston. After customized Kiawah Island nature tours on November 7th, a banquet dinner will feature keynote speaker Sir Ghillean Prance, FRS, Director (retired) of the Royal (Kew) Botanic Gardens, former Research Director and Vice-President of the New York Botanical Garden, former President of the UK Linnean Society and current Scientific Director of the Eden Project.
The South Carolina portion of the program includes a look at Catesby’s impact on natural history, his connections to other celebrated naturalists and 18th century gardening. Area tours include a Catesby-country immersion tour, boat tour of the ACE Basin conservation area, and a tour of Charleston gardens not typically open to the public. Conference attendees will have multiple opportunities to view Catesby works as well as Colonial art works.
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