Hunt Institute presents Duets Exhibition

March 20, 2014 - June 30, 2014

As with duets in music, this exhibition creates new, harmonious couplings of botanical art with items created between the 16th and 21st centuries from the Hunt Institute collections. The subjects of these pairings explore the parallels between works created for numerous botanical applications. They include works painted during expeditions and in native environs; plants of the Americas and introductions now cultivated for the garden; works that showcase the Eastern aesthetic and its modern influence; work of a classical style and more experimental and evocative processes; plants illustrated for agricultural and economic purposes and for their pure aesthetic; and work by historical masters and the contemporary artists they influenced.

The duets include works by the following artists: Pierre-Jean-François Turpin (France, 1775–1840) and Irina G. Gai (Russia); Pierre-Joseph Redouté (Belgium, 1759–1840) and John Pastoriza-Piñol (Australia); unknown artist (United States, 20th century) in the Hitchcock-Chase Collection of Grass Drawings and Marcel Jomphê (Canada); a work attributed to either Barbara Regina Dietzsch (Germany, 1706–1783) or Johann Siegmund Dietzsch (Germany, 1707–1779) and Damodar Lal Gurjar (India); Imogen Cunningham (United States, 1883–1976) and Olivia Marie Braida (United States); John Tyley (Antigua/England?, early 19th century) and Martin J. Allen (England); Jean-Louis Prévost (France, 1760–1810) and Roderick McEwen (Scotland, 1932–1982); Georg Dionys Ehret (Germany/England, 1708–1770) and Marilena Pistoia (Italy); Priscilla Susan Bury (Mrs. Edward, England, 1793–1869) and Margaret Ursula Mee (England, 1909–1988); Joseph Prestele (Germany/United States, 1796–1867) and Elisabeth Dowle (England); Lou E. Hurst (Mrs. Albert W. Lamb, United States, 1883–1949) and Regine Hagedorn (France); Andrey Avinoff (Russia/United States, 1884–1949) and Albert G. Richards (United States, 1917–2010); Gerard van Spaendonck (France, 1746–1822) and Rose Pellicano (Italy/United States); Kokei or Kodo Yoshikawa (Japan, 19th century) and Aurora Tazza (Italy); Leonardo Parasole (Italy, late 16th–early 17th century) and Elliot Offner (United States, 1931–2010); John Curtis (England, 1791–1862) and Anne Marie Trechslin (Italy/Switzerland, 1927–2007); James Bolton (England, 1735–1799) and Raphael Henri-Charles Ghislain (Belgium); Balthasar Cattrani (Italy, 1770–1810) and James M. Shull (United States, 1872–1948) in the USDA Forest Service Collection; Augusta Innes Withers (England, ca.1793–1860) and Claus Caspari (Germany, 1911–1980); a work attributed to Atanasio Echeverría y Godoy (Mexico, 18th century) in the Torner Collection of Sessé & Mociño Biological Illustrations and Lois Martin Povall (England/South Africa, 1905–1984); J. Watts (England, 19th century) and Ruriko Kato (Japan); unknown artist (India, 19th century) and Bernard Pertchik (United States, 1924–1992) and Harriet Pertchik (United States, 1925–1988); unknown artist (France?, 18th century) and Lilian Snelling (England, 1879–1972); Pierre-Joseph Redouté (Belgium, 1759–1840) and Timothy C. Angell (United States).

As always, Curator of Art Lugene B. Bruno and Assistant Curator of Art Carrie Roy will be available to answer questions about the exhibition. To arrange an interview, please contact us (412-268-2434; Exhibition publicity images for publication are available upon request.

Opening reception

Join us Thursday, 20 March 2014, 5–7 pm for an opening reception. At 5:30 pm Curator of Art Lugene B. Bruno will give a short introduction to the exhibition in the gallery.

Open House 2014

In conjunction with Duets, the Hunt Institute will hold its annual Open House on Sunday, 29 June. We will offer a talk, a gallery tour and opportunities to meet one-on-one with our staff to ask questions and see items in the collections. “Botanical exploration in the Americas” by Assistant Librarian Jeannette McDevitt, Curator of Art Lugene Bruno and Archivist J. Dustin Williams will include curatorial conversations about three explorers to the Americas who were interested in medicinal and economic plants and ethnography. Displayed will be related publications, original artwork and archival materials from the Hunt Institute collections. McDevitt will feature Spain’s 16th-century court physician Francisco Hernández (1514–1587), the first scientific explorer in the New World (1570–1577), with resulting publications; Bruno will discuss the physician Martín de Sessé y Lacasta (1751–1808) and his work with Jose Mariano Mociño (1757–1820) during the Spanish Royal Expedition to New Spain (1787–1803) that explored the Caribbean, Mexico and northern Central America, showing the resulting illustrations intended for a published flora; and Williams will talk about the botanist and plant collector William Andrew Archer (1894–1973) and his explorations in Mexico and Central and South America for the USDA in the 1930s, with field diaries, reports and photographs. We encourage everyone to consider visiting us during this Open House. It will be a good time to see the exhibition before it closes and to have an inside look at our collections and our work. A schedule of events is available on our Web site. We are looking forward to your visit.

Cabinet of curiosities

On display during spring 2014 in our Cabinet of curiosities located in the lobby will be the field notebooks of Emma Lucy Braun (1889–1971), author of the influential Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America (1950), from our Archives collection.


The exhibition will be on display on the 5th floor of the Hunt Library building at Carnegie Mellon University and will be open to the public free of charge. Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am–noon and 1–5 pm; Sunday, 1–4 pm (except 18–20 April, 4 May and 25–26 May). Because our hours of operation are occasionally subject to change, please call or email before your visit to confirm. For further information, contact the Hunt Institute at 412-268-2434.

  • Left, Passiflora [Passiflora serratodigitata Linnaeus, Passifloraceae], watercolor on paper by John Tyley (Antigua/England?, early 19th century), ca.1802, 42 × 27 cm, HI Art accession no. 0849.36 and right, Passion flower [Passiflora Linnaeus, Passifloraceae], watercolor on paper by Martin J. Allen (England), 2006, 51 × 73 cm, HI Art accession no. 7862, © 2006, Martin J. Allen, All Rights Reserved.