300 years ago and a century before Audubon, British born Mark Catesby followed his passion in search of plants and nature that were foreign to England and set out for America in 1712. There he discovered a new world of endless possibilities and strange creatures.
On November 4th – 9th, 2012, The Catesby Commemorative Trust brought together experts from America and Europe to discuss Catesby’s influences, drawings, science and impact on natural history. By traveling to places once visited by Mark Catesby—like Richmond, Virginia and Charleston, South Carolina; we had the privilege of viewing his most famous etchings.
The Catesby Commemorative Trust together with the Society for the History of Natural History and the Garden Club of America would like to thank our participating organizations:
The Commonwealth Club of Richmond
The Kent-Valentine House
The Smithsonian Institution –
Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Libraries –
The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd
Library of Natural History
The U.S. Botanic Garden
The College of Charleston –
The Library Society of Charleston
The Preservation Society of Charleston
The Miles Brewton House
The William Gibbes House
Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Detailed Program | November 4-9, 2012
Mark Catesby’s Third Centennial In America;
Celebrating His Impact On Our World
Sunday, November 4, 2012: Richmond, VA
(Rooms have been reserved at a special rate at the four star Omni Hotel.)
- 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm: Wilton House Museum of the National Society of Colonial Dames in America in the Commonwealth of Virginia
- Tour of the Wilton House and viewing of “The Curious Mr. Catesby
- Welcome: Laura Towers, President of NSCDA – VA and Robert Strohm, Executive Director, Wilton House Museum
- Introduction: Viewing of “The Curious Mister Catesby” Documentary Motion Picture, introduced by Cynthia P. Neal, Producer & Director
- The Museum will have a concurrent exhibit of Catesby etchings
- Cocktail Reception
Monday, November 5, 2012:
Richmond, VA / Washington, D.C.
(Rooms have been reserved at a special rate at the four star Hotel Monaco.)
- 9:00 am – 12:30 pm: Wilton House Museum
- Mark Catesby and his Botanical Forerunners
Dr. Karen Reeds, independent scholar
- William Dampier: Diana & Michael Preston; Authors of “A Pirate
of Exquisite Mind: Explorer, Naturalist and Buccaneer: The Life of
- Maria Sibylla Merian: Pioneering Naturalist, Artist & Inspiration
for Catesby: Florence F. J. M. Pieters, Faculty of Biology, University of
Amsterdam & Dr. Kay Etheridge, Professor of Biology, Gettysburg College
- England: Dr. Janet Browne, Chair, Aramont Professor of the History of
Science, Harvard University
- Virginia: Dr. Sarah Meacham, Associate Professor of History, Virginia
Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
- Carolina: Dr. Suzanne Linder Hurley, Independent Research Historian
and Author, Davidson, NC
- Bahamas: Dr. Robert Robertson, Curator Emeritus of Malacology, Philadelphia
Academy of Natural Sciences
- Welcome: Senior Smithsonian and Garden Club of America officials
- Moderator: Nancy Gwinn, Director, Smithsonian Institution Libraries
- Catesby’s Drawings: Speaker, Henrietta McBurney Ryan, Keeper of
Fine & Decorative Arts, Eton College; formerly Deputy Keeper, Royal Library,
Windsor Castle & author of forthcoming book on Catesby’s original paintings
- The Natural History — Its printing and publication:
Speaker, Leslie K. Overstreet, Curator, Natural-History Rare Books,
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
- Catesby’s Etchings — His Compositional Interests & the Birth of
Environmental Science: Speaker, Dr. Amy Meyers, Director, Yale Center
for British Art
- Ornithology (incl. bird migration): Shepard Krech III, Professor
Emeritus, Brown University
- Botany: Dr. Steven A. Harris, Druce Curator of the Oxford University
Herbaria (scheduled – possibly given by his delegate)
- Zoology (other than ornithology): Dr. Aaron Bauer, Professor & Gerald
M. Lemole Chair in Integrative Biology, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
- Catesby’s Economic and Ethnobotany: Dr. W. Hardy Eshbaugh,
Professor of Botany Emeritus, Miami University, Oxford, OH
- Welcome by Dr. Ari Novy, Public Program Manager
- Display of Catesby-Related Plants
- Cocktail Reception
- Dolphin Tour
- Birding Tour: Led by National Geographic expert Jonathan Alderfer
- Coffee reception with viewing of the College of Charleston Addlestone Library Rare Book Collection
- Welcome to Charleston – The Honorable Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Mayor of Charleston
- Catesby The Explorer: Dr. James L. Reveal, Professor Emeritus, University
of Maryland and Adjunct Professor of Plant Biology, Cornell University
- Linnaeus and the relevance of his use of Catesby’s botanical work:
Dr. Charlie Jarvis, Botany Department, Natural History Museum, London
- Linnaeus and his use of Catesby’s zoological work:
Dr. Kraig Adler, Professor & Department Chair, Department of Neurology
& Behavior, Cornell University
- The Naturalists who came after Catesby: Judith Magee, Special
Collections Curator, Library & Archives, Natural History Museum, London
and author of “Art and Nature: Three Centuries of Natural History Art from
Around the World”
- Opportunity to view second edition Natural History:
Alexander Wilson and Audubon double elephant folio (Leslie Overstreet
will be available for all viewings of the Natural History to point out
their salient features – no two are exactly the same)
- Lunch in the Museum Garden
- View exhibit of Colonial Art and their second edition of the Natural History
- The Bartram-Catesby Connection: Joel T. Fry, Curator, Bartram’s Garden, Philadelphia, PA
- Catesby and 18th Century Gardening:Mark Laird, Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University
- Viewing of their second and third editions of The Natural History
- 9:00 am: Catesby’s Influences and Sources
- 10:45 am: Catesby’s World
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch at the Commonwealth Club
2:15 pm: Tour of Kent-Valentine House which has a large collection of Catesby etchings.
4:00 pm: Chartered coach transfer to four star Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012: Washington, D.C.
- 10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Museum of Natural History, Baird Auditorium;
(Lectures at the Baird Auditorium will be non-ticketed and open to the public.)
- 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Ticket Holders’ Lunch in the Executive Conference Room at the Museum of Natural History
- 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Museum of Natural History, Baird Auditorium;
(Lectures at the Baird Auditorium will be non-ticketed and open to the public.)
- 2:30 pm: Catesby’s Science
- 5:15 pm – 6:15 pm: Ticket holder’s viewing of the Smithsonian’s first edition of The Natural History
- 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm: The United States Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012:
Washington, D.C. / Charleston, SC
Personal transportation to Charleston, SC to be arranged by attendees
(Rooms have been reserved at a special rate at both The Five Star Sanctuary Hotel and the Kiawah Island Golf Resort.)
- 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Customized Kiawah Island Nature Tours
6:15 pm: Cocktail Reception and tour of Vanderhorst Plantation
7:30 pm: Banquet at Cassique on Kiawah Island, with keynote speaker – Sir Ghillian Prance, FRS; Director (retired), Royal (Kew) Botanic Gardens; previously Vice President, New York Botanical Garden as well as President of the UK Linnean Society, and currently Scientific Director of the Eden Project.
Thursday, November 8, 2012: Charleston, SC
Coach transfers into Charleston within Town and return to Kiawah
- 9:30 am – 1:00 pm: College of Charleston – Stern Center Ballroom
- 11:45 am: Catesby’s Impact on Natural History
- 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm: The Gibbes Museum of Art
This section of the program honors the memory of Chris Hammond, long-term Director of the Trust to whom it owes much; truly a gentleman, and a good friend
- 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm: The Library Society of Charleston (1748)
- 5:00 pm: Visit to the Preservation Society of Charleston with a book signing by Jonathan Alderfer of National Geographic
- 6:00 pm: Cocktail Receptions at the historic Miles Brewton and William Gibbes Houses
- Friday, November 9, 2012: Charleston, SC
- You may choose one tour option from the list below.
- 9:30 am – 3:30 pm: Catesby Country Immersion Tour and lunch at Middleton Place, including fresh-water swamp, salt marsh, rice fields, ruins of Catesby-era house, free
flying demonstration by Charleston Center for Birds of Prey of raptors
painted by Catesby plus of viewing of first edition of Mark Catesby’s
- 10:00 am – 2:00 pm: Tour of the ACE Basin led by National Geographic expert Jonathan Alderfer, boxed lunch included. Jonathan Alderfer will be signing books following the tour at 3:00 pm at the Kiawah Nature Center
- 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Lunch will be served in the garden at 15 Legare followed by a tour of private and rarely seen Charleston Gardens
(Preservation Society of Charleston)
The Catesby Commemorative Trust is pleased to recognize the following as our sponsors for the Catesby Tercentennial Program (As of July 25, 2012).
City Event Supporters (Bronze)
The Wells Gallery (Charleston/Kiawah)
UGAP will publish “The Curious Mister Catesby: A ‘Truly Ingenious Naturalist’ Explores News Worlds”
The University of Georgia Press has decided enthusiastically to publish “The curious Mister Catesby: a ‘truly ingenious’ naturalist explores new worlds”. We’ve been advised that the Press’ Faculty Board, comprised of senior scholars from a variety of fields, was particularly enthusiastic about the project and impressed by the rigor of our contributors’ scholarship.
MARK CATESBY’S ORIGINAL WATERCOLORS
While many have seen Mark Catesby’s etchings relatively few have seen his original watercolors in the Royal Library that he used to prepare the etchings for his Natural History.
The general public now has its first opportunity to see some of them since the last century, when some of them were exhibited at four museums in the US, in Japan and the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace.
Twenty seven of them are currently on exhibition at Gainsborough House, in Sudbury, Suffolk, England until October 12. If you are in the UK during this period this is a great opportunity to see them, and it may well not come again. When at Windsor they are accessible only to approved scholars by specific appointment.
Click here for more information. And note, the Tripadvisor website gives the Gainsborough House a four star rating even without the Catesby exhibit.
“The curious Mister Catesby – a truly ingenious naturalist explores new worlds” has been submitted to the University of Georgia Press. Both their peer reviewers have recommended publication and only made relatively minor suggestions. The Press final decision is expected by November.
The American Society of Botanical Artists has an interesting traveling exhibition of art by William and John Bartram; see www.asba-art.org.
The Executive Committee of the 90,000 member Garden Club of America has voted unanimously to continue its cooperation with the Trust, sustaining the momentum initiated so effectively with the Catesby Tercentennial in 2012.
Dear Friends of the Catesby Commemorative Trust:
We are delighted to share with you the successful completion of the Catesby Tercentennial events. Many of you shared in these events or caught a glimpse of the activities in one city or another. The excitement among participants and speakers alike was palpable, and the comments from all have been outstanding. We have included some commentary from the successful event.
The Catesby Trust continues to be engaged in our mission of promoting 17th and 18th century natural historians and artists, as we continue to engage audiences around their important work. From Amsterdam to the U.K. and here in the Lowcountry, the Trust will continue to bring these lives, especially that of Mark Catesby, to the forefront of educational studies. While we have held a successful and crowd pleasing Tercentennial symposium, we know there is still work to be done.
Our efforts to publish a book, representing the wealth of knowledge convened during the Tercentennial presentations, along with the broad research of Dr. Charles Nelson in England, will take time and energy. The Catesby Commemorative Trust is committed to this project, and I will continue to engage with you, our experts and our community around this endeavor. Several new discoveries on the life of Mark Catesby and comprehensive submissions by our experts prove to us the importance of this books publication.
We will continue to need your support to take the pieces of our program and produce this book that will solidify Catesby’s place as one of the transformative individuals of the world of superstition to the world of modern science. This may be our best work yet. We ask that you support the continuation of our journey, and the time is now as we continue the momentum generated by these great events.
Thank you for your generosity and guidance,
Catesby Tercentennial Testimonials
“Thank you again for the very, very inspiring and perfect organized Catesby Tercentennial!” – Attendee, The Netherlands;
“[A] really wonderful conference. It was the best I have ever attended!” – Speaker, United Kingdom;
“It was such a splendid conference, the best I ever attended,…” – Speaker, the Netherlands;
“The Catesby Commemoration, and our outstanding visits to Richmond, DC, and Charleston/Kiawah Island are now becoming history – but they remain excellent memories.” Attendee, Nova Scotia
“… a quick note to commend you for the outstanding conference. This is probably the “best” such event that I have ever attended.” – Speaker, Hendersonville NC;
“…such a rich and meaningful event. … It was really spectacular and we are most grateful for being included.” – Speaker,
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