Lectures & Symposia

Throughout the year, The New York Botanical Garden offers lectures in which outstanding landscape architects and garden designers present their signature works and insights, and internationally recognized speakers address topics of global interest related to the study, preservation, and appreciation of the plant kingdom.

Jens Jensen The Living Green
A Documentary Film Screening & Panel Discussion

Earth Day: Wednesday, April 22, 6:30–8:30 p.m.; Ross Hall

Join us this Earth Day for New York City's only screening of a documentary highlighting the life and work of one of America's pioneering conservationists and "grandfather of ecological restoration," Jens Jensen (1860–1951). Rising from street sweeper to "dean of landscape architects," this Danish-born visionary transformed and expanded Chicago's green spaces and landscapes throughout the Midwest. After the viewing, stay to participate in a lively panel discussion of Jensen's work and its relevance to today's urban environmental issues.

The Nature of Photography:
Life in the Field Lecture with Joe McNally

Wednesday, April 29, 6:30–7:30 p.m.; Ross Hall

In more than 50 countries over a 30-year career, internationally acclaimed photographer Joe McNally has mastered the art of taking photographs that tell stories with artistry and compassion and with the expert use of color and light. Known for his series Faces of Ground Zero—Portraits of the Heroes of September 11th, McNally has photographed stories for Sports Illustrated, LIFE, and National Geographic. In this evening lecture, he will draw on his extensive experience and portfolio to help you bring emotional impact to your photographs of people in nature.

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Mexican Art in the 20th Century

Friday, May 15, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; Ross Hall

Join us for a symposium inspired by the Garden's spring exhibition on Frida Kahlo. Moderated by guest curator, Adriana Zavala, this event explores the art, symbolism, and influence of Kahlo and Rivera within the context of Mexican history, culture, costume, and national identity, and reveals the importance of Kahlo's Casa Azul as her creative refuge and inspiration.

Photo: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, 1940s. Graphic House staff photographer, Getty Images Editorial.

Frida Kahlo: Art & Life
Lecture with Hayden Herrera

Wednesday, May 20, 6:30–7:30 p.m.; Ross Hall

Hear celebrated scholar and author Hayden Herrera interweave Frida Kahlo's art and life, highlighting her childhood, the accident that turned her to painting, her tempestuous marriage to muralist Diego Rivera, and her passionate love for her native Mexico.

Photo: Frida with Olmeca Figurine, Coyoacán, 1939. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archive

Frida Kahlo Today: Her Influence on Contemporary Art
Lecture with Edward Sullivan

Wednesday, June 3, 6:30–7:30 p.m.; Ross Hall

Join us as Latin American art historian and New York University Professor Edward J. Sullivan examines notable artists across the Americas, revealing Kahlo's influence on their highly personal explorations of art, national heritage, and identity.

Photo: Casa Azul, Mexico City, 2014

Native Plant Summit:
Current Status, Conservation, and Outlook for Plants of the Northeast

Friday, September 18, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.; Ross Hall

The Northeastern U.S. hosts a rich diversity of native plants, many of which play essential roles for humans and the environment. Alarmingly, a number of these species are seeing a precipitous decline, with New York State considering one-quarter of its native species in peril. Despite these figures, no comprehensive or integrated program exists to study trends in the status of native plants across the region. This summit will address our dearth of knowledge by bringing together experts and interested members of the public to present and discuss the state of the area's plant species, plot the best course forward, and highlight ways in which everyone can make a difference for native plants in the Northeast.

Browse all lectures and courses at nybg.org/adulted