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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Current and Past Art Shows

Roman Empire 228-345 AD (East), (detail) hand stitched quilt, copyright Anna Von Mertens
Art, detail of hand stitched quilt

Our art shows are offered in-person at the Hunnewell Building at 125 Arborway (open noon–4pm, Friday through Monday) and virtually on this page.

Artists interested in mounting solo exhibitions in the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall should review the exhibition guidelines [pdf]. Proposals may be submitted to arbweb@arnarb.harvard.edu with the subject heading “Exhibition Proposal.”

Current Shows

Tree Ring Histories: The Quilts of Anna Von Mertens

Summer 2022 - Fall 2022

Anna Von Mertens brings a selection of her hand stitched quilts from the larger collection Migrations, Invasions, Plagues, and Empires to the Arnold Arboretum. This sensational in-person and web exhibition is both conceptual and cautionary. Titled Tree Ring Histories, Von Mertens' art is a visual examination and representation of the rings of trees from periods of history, spanning the years 228 CE to the 12th century. She creates an elemental beauty though the medium of simple, handmade stitches on a black, cotton layer of cloth. The art is quilt; however, the caution can be deciphered in tree rings depicted and historic climate fluctuations that resulted in the variation within those rings.    

Art, hand stitched quilt
Anasazi 12th Century Migration (detail), copyright Anna Von Mertens

Past Shows

the nature of art/the art of nature, meaningful beauty: the vibrant vocabulary of honeysuckles, stoneroot epistle, seeds for tomorrow: woody plants of the arnold arboretum, hidden worlds: a new herbarium, growth spurts, knobs, and knuckles: an environment of trees by lizi brown, a walk in the arboretum: digital photo collages by amy ragus, look again: seeing nature through a different set of eyes, online exhibition: arboretum haiku & you, over time: through art, the impact of change in the arboretum landscape,

  • The Nature of Art/The Art of Nature

    Summer of 2022

    This unique show is an invitational of fourteen artists from New England Book Artists. They all use the framework of a book to create a personal vision of nature. Works of art fold, accordion, pop up, and display cut outs and tunnels, treating the traditional world of two dimensions as something permeable, and the traditional book world as a place of personal discovery and reverence.Fourteen artists from New England Book Artists bring their unique art to this show. Each artist takes a personal  look at nature, combining their own interpretation of what resonates with them with a singular book design.

    Art book in the form of a dragonfly
  • Meaningful Beauty: The Vibrant Vocabulary of Honeysuckles

    "Spring 2022 - Summer 2022"

    This multimedia exhibition highlights the genus Lonicera (honeysuckle). Wendy Clement combines her Arboretum research on honeysuckle with the design initiatives of Chris Ault’s Interactive Multimedia class at The College of New Jersey, bringing an exciting insight into how plants use visual signals to communicate with the world around them. The multimedia exhibition, Meaningful Beauty: The Vibrant Vocabulary of Honeysuckles, celebrated the diversity of honeysuckles, and explored how differences in form allow various species of the plant to effectively communicate with their environment. The show in our Hunnewell Lecture hall featured a blend of artistic and scientific imagery.

  • Stoneroot Epistle

    Spring 2022 - Summer 2022

    In this mother-daughter book collaboration in our Hunnewell Visitor Center, Joyce and Daina Swagerty contemplate our capacity for wonder through the lens of an acorn through the seasons. Select pages of vivid imagery and inspirational poetry offer a layered landscape exploring the movement of universal journey. (Image detail copyright Daina Swagerty.)Stoneroot Epistle by poet Joyce Swagerty, and her daughter, artist Daina Swagerty, brings a singular look and creative interpretation of the articulated journey of a seed—an acorn—traveling though life. Subtitled Collage and Words in Conversation, Stoneroot Epistle is a glorious examination of regeneration through vivid images and attentive, articulate words.

  • Seeds for Tomorrow: Woody Plants of the Arnold Arboretum

    Winter 2022 - Spring 2022

    Laura Fantini uses colored pencil to render seeds in exquisite, hyper-realistic drawings. This series is called “Hope,” and therein lies the power of seeds. They are emblematic of both birth and growth—small, complicated, and extraordinary, like the wonderful drawings in this exhibition.Laura Fantini uses colored pencil to render seeds in exquisite, hyper-realistic drawings. This series is called “Hope,” and therein lies the power of seeds. They are emblematic of both birth and growth—small, complicated, and extraordinary, like the wonderful drawings in this exhibition.

    Drawing of a seed
  • Hidden Worlds: A New Herbarium

    Fall 2021 - Winter 2022

    Artist Madge Evers brings us into the world of nature, re-imagining the connection of fungi with plants through intimate, dreamlike landscapes. Her prints are animate worlds, revealing where mushroom spores and leaves intersect.Madge Evers brings her rich, layered spore prints to the aptly named exhibition, Hidden Worlds. Taking cues from nature's abundant examples of the interrelationship between fungi and plants, Evers creates A New Herbarium teeming with the synergy of organic life and her own creative discipline and vision.

    Vines and leaves in dark and light art print
  • Growth Spurts, Knobs, and Knuckles: An Environment of Trees by Lizi Brown

    Summer 2021 - Fall 2021

    Artist Lizi Brown details tree trunks in ink and paint, creating patterns in light and dark on paper panels. Her concern for the trees, their lives caught in climate shifts, is recorded with fluidity and simple rendering.Artist Lizi Brown brings us a literal Environment of Trees in this exhibition of her paintings. Fluid renderings in ink and paint on construction paper show how the events and seasons have had a lasting influence on a tree’s aspect and structure. Brown's intense connection with trees becomes an exuberant and sensitive record of each tree's intimate life.

    Detail painting of willow tree
  • A Walk in the Arboretum: Digital Photo Collages by Amy Ragus

    Spring 2021 - Summer 2021

    Photographer Amy Ragus specializes in multiple frame images of New England landscapes—digital photocollages. Important to the artist are discoveries she finds just off a road or path, as well as the people who share this space and enjoy nature throughout the seasons.

    trees in spring
  • Look Again: Seeing Nature through a Different Set of Eyes

    Photographs by Joel Kershner

    Spring 2021

    Arnold Arboretum Field Guide volunteer Joel Kershner brings his creative mind's eye to a virtual show of images, aiming his camera at aspects of nature that we might miss in our own everyday wanderings.

    close up of peeling bark
  • Online Exhibition: Arboretum Haiku & You

    Images shared by participating haiku poets with their nature-inspired haikus.

    2020

    Take your own haiku hike in the outdoors, write a haiku about what you experience, and send it to the Arnold Arboretum to be a part of a special online exhibit! Check our Arboretum Haiku and You webpage, share expressions about the natural world through photography and this wonderful and creative form of poetry.

    Maya with Haiku
  • Over Time: Through Art, the Impact of Change in the Arboretum Landscape

    Monotype Paintings by Ginny Zanger

    Winter 2021 - Spring 2021

    The ethereal quality of Ginny Zanger’s artwork brings organic and exuberant life to images in this exhibition. Zanger works in watercolor and a technique she developed that she calls monotype painting—paint appears to float over and under surfaces, always with a focus in nature.

    Watercolor of tree branches