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Arnold Arboretum

Botanical and Cultural Images of Eastern Asia

China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan

“A good set of photographs are really about as important as anything you can bring back with you.”
— Charles Sargent to E. H. Wilson, December 1906

See What they saw

Buildings & Bridges Magnificent trees
Daily life Landscapes

Meet the explorers

John George Jack Ernest Henry Wilson Frank Nicholas Meyer
William Purdom Joseph Hers Joseph Charles Francis Rock

The Arnold Arboretum’s collection of eastern Asian photographs represents the work of intrepid plant explorers who traveled to exotic lands in the early years of the twentieth century and returned to the Arboretum with not only seeds, live plants, and dried herbarium specimens, but also with remarkable images of plants, people, and landscapes.

We invite all armchair travelers who have become desktop explorers to visit early twentieth century Asia through the archival images of our earliest plant collectors.

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