Green Currency: Plants in the Economy

An Exhibition of Botanical Art

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Cotton, Gossypium herbaceum
© 2010 Esther Klahne, watercolor on paper

On View April 20 - August 21, 2011; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
In the Arthur and Janet Ross Gallery

As seen in American Art Collector, don't miss this must-see show!

From food to fuel, furniture, fabric, medicine, and countless other manifestations, the lives of humans are enhanced by plants in ways that may be easily overlooked. A multifaceted new exhibition seeks to enrich visitors’ understanding of the important uses of plants through 43 stunningly detailed and beautiful depictions by some of the world’s most accomplished botanical artists.

The 43 pieces of art were selected from 258 entries from artists representing 14 states and 8 countries.  Among the international artists showcased in the exhibition, each of whom are members of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), are instructors and alumni of the Botanical Garden’s renowned Botanical Art Certificate program, North America's first formal Certificate program in botanical art, which continues to offer classes for students at every skill level.

Stories on how plants like corn are woven into a biodegradable fabric and marketed as an alternative to polyester and how Cannabis is cultivated to produce the healing compounds for legal medicinal use can be found in an illustrated exhibition catalog. 

An accompanying audio tour features personal statements from each of the artists about their artistic process and what inspired them to choose the particular plant as their subject matter for this economically-themed exhibition.

Signage across Garden grounds will indicate the Green Currency plants held in the Botanical Garden’s permanent collection, extending the exhibition beyond the walls of the Ross Gallery.

Presented in conjunction with the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), Green Currency is the first medal-awarding international exhibition of botanical art in the United States.


Purchase the full-color, illustrated exhibition catalog at Shop in the Garden and online at

Register for botanical art classes at





Generous support provided by the Karen Katen Foundation
Exhibitions in the Arthur and Janet Ross Gallery are made possible by support from the Arthur and Janet Ross Fund
Audio tour sponsored by Bloomberg