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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Look Again: Seeing Nature through a Different Set of Eyes

Paperbark Maple by Joel Kershner
close up of peeling bark

Mar 20 - Jun 16, 2021

Joel Kershner brings sensitivity, as well as a delightful, sometimes anthropomorphic touch of humor, to his photographs of the trees, plants, and other aspects of nature to be found in the Arnold Arboretum or in his neighborhood. Enjoy this look at the beauty, texture, color, and movement to be found in nature–the nature seen through Joel Kershner’s eyes and camera.

Kershner has been a volunteer in the Arnold Arboretum’s field study program for the past nine years, leading small groups of students from Boston Public Schools in outdoor explorations of the natural world. He has also been a nature guide at the Ipswich River Audubon Sanctuary. 

As a photographer, Kershner has honed his vision to capture images that invoke the unexpected, the quirky, and imperfect. In recognition of his photographic art, he was selected to be an artist member of the Copley Society of Art, the oldest non-profit, member art association in the United States.

All rights of the images reside with the artist. For more information on making a copy, or reusing an image, please send your request to For information on the work itself, or to inquire about purchasing art, please also send your request to We will put you in touch with the artist.

To best view this exhibition, hold your mouse on an image to see the small magnifier then click to get the gallery.

hands holding seed pods with landscape and sky in distance
Water Locust Seed Pods by Joel Kershner

acorns in ice
Acorns in Ice by Joel Kershner

four seeds in a split open pod
Carolina Spicebush Seed by Joel Kershner

close up of peeling bark
Bark Peels by Joel Kershner

close up of flower
Dancing Flower by Joel Kershner

leaves, seaweed, stones under ice
Ice Sculpture by Joel Kershner

close up of tree with hole
Invitation for an Owl by Joel Kershner

arcing pussy willows
Willow Catkins by Joel Kershner

close up of bark with two surfaces
Deep Expressions by Joel Kershner

close up of tree slice
Tree Stump “Flowering” by Joel Kershner

tiny buds of the mountain laurel shrub
Mountain Laurel Buds by Joel Kershner

clump of berries on a branch
Shades of Red by Joel Kershner

close up of ginkgo leaves and fruit on the ground
Ginkgo Leaves by Joel Kershner

close up of twisted, raised lines in bark
Bark Beetle Trails by Joel Kershner

fall leaves at the base of tree trunks
Japanese Maple in Fall by Joel Kershner

close up of thick tree bark
Elephant in Wood by Joel Kershner

roots of a tree raised above the ground
Dawn Redwood Roots by Joel Kershner

close up of peeling bark
Paperbark Maple by Joel Kershner

Close up of bark
Who Am I by Joel Kershner

close up of bark with different colors and textures
Rare Bird by Joel Kershner

tree trunk bulging out in profile
Decorated Eyes by Joel Kershner