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Work of world-famous botanical illustrator Francesca Anderson now part of art collection at Carnegie Mellon’s Hunt Institute

April 13, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Francesca Anderson. Click photo for Anderson’s website.

Francesca Anderson spent most of her productive life as a botanical illustrator while she was based in Brooklyn. Indeed, she remains a trustee of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and is the founder of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society, as well as a fellow of the internationally known Linnean Society. Having received two gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society in London, she remains one of the world’s foremost botanical artists specializing in pen-and-ink drawings. She has been the subject of more than 20 solo shows and 60 group shows covering botanical art in the United States and abroad. And, she has illustrated numerous botanical books and journals.

Now, from her hometown of Pittsburgh, comes news that her work is part of the collection at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University.

Lily of the Valley with Worm [Convallaria Linnaeus, Asparagaceae], pen-and-ink on paper by Francesca Anderson, 73.7 × 58.7 cm, HI Art accession no. 8550.11, courtesy of Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
Proudly hosting Anderson’s return to Pittsburgh, the Hunt Institute held a special ceremony and reception recently, welcoming Anderson’s artwork as part of their recent acquisitions. As noted on their website, “…this exhibition features major gifts by Francesca Anderson, Patricia Margaret Calhoun Rennie and John Wilkinson. The three artists are in our International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration series, and the donated artworks include pieces created before the Institute was founded through 2022.”In June 2021, Francesca Anderson donated 24 of her quill pen-and-ink drawings on Strathmore paper that were created between 1989 and 1993. The subjects include bulb plants, such as species of tulips and crocus, narcissus, lily of the valley, pineapple lily and 12 amaryllises. Included in the group of amaryllis are 6 of the 8 pen-and-ink drawings exhibited and awarded a gold medal by the Royal Horticultural Society, 24–25 January 1995. Anderson’s drawing of globe cabbage was included in the Hunt Institute’s 7th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration (1992).Now a resident of Florida, Anderson travels to many parts of the world to showcase her award-winning botanical illustrations. But she still considers her time in Brooklyn as one of the most productive periods in her life.

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“All the incredible opportunites I have been given, starting with college, I have received in New York State and Brooklyn,” Anderson told the Eagle. “There is no where else on earth with the resources, energy and talent. Although my home these last years is now 1500 miles away, I am so very grateful for my years as a proud citizen of Brooklyn.”

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