Karen Daubmann is NYBG’s AVP for Exhibitions. She has researched, planned, and installed over 50 exhibitions in her seven years at the Garden.
At The New York Botanical Garden, exhibitions are planned over many years with the intent of bringing to life distant lands, influential people, interesting plants, rarely seen gardens, and fantastic landscapes. We immerse ourselves in the study of our subjects with the goal of evoking the gardens and the spirits of their creators within the walls of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. In 2010, we transformed the galleries into Emily Dickinson’s Garden, complete with a path “just wide enough for two who love.” In 2012, when we celebrated Claude Monet, we knew the garden we created was one that he was surely enjoying when the glasshouse emptied each evening.
When we began to research Frida Kahlo, we wanted to delve into the story of the woman who has been examined through her pain and suffering and paint her in a different light. We wanted to learn more about the iconic face that is emblazoned on canvases, the strong and fierce-looking dark-haired, dark-eyed woman who used to be known as Diego Rivera’s wife and is now known simply as Frida. The more we researched, the more intrigued we became.
To us, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird was an image of a woman immersed in tropical flora. Her still-life paintings, an important yet lesser-known portion of her work, are informative displays of the rich diversity of Mexico’s plant life. We were fascinated by the incredible detail of Kahlo’s curated life, as evidenced by her paintings, her letters, and archival photos of Kahlo and Rivera in their garden. Her story was ripe to be told by The New York Botanical Garden.
In the 21st century, a smartphone is no longer just a convenient thing to have on hand if you need to make a call away from home. It is an invaluable tool for the wildlife photographer. I never leave home without it!
Read on for three downloadable apps that I use during my treks at The New York Botanical Garden to address three of the primary concerns of every wildlife and nature photographer.
We shutterbugs are chasers of light. Knowing the exact time the sun comes up and goes down is crucial if I want to get some early morning sky shots before I go in search of wildlife or some late afternoon images when the forest is a beautiful golden brown color. For this I use the full version of Sundroid.
A flock of migrating birds fly from one end of the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden to the other, flapping their wings and erupting with birdcalls as they go. They’re migrating from New York to Mexico and back again.
There’s one in pink shorts, and another in a NYBG t-shirt. One in a sunhat swoops past a bed of lettuce. These “birds” are actually children participating in a nature activity in the Children’s Gardening Program.
One of them, young gardener Adena Zitrin, and her mother, Debra Asher-Zitrin, have participated in the Sprouts program, for kids ages 3 to 5, for the past two years.
“It’s unlike any class we’ve ever taken—and we’ve taken music, art, and gym classes,” Debra said. “There’s something very bonding that goes on between the parent and the child in CGP. It’s very sweet, the working together that goes on.”
Debra’s two older children also participated in Sprouts and are now Crafters, the program for kids ages 6 to 12.
His career spans more than 30 years, and his portfolio includes photographs published in some of the world’s largest publications. He shot the first all-digital cover story for National Geographic, “The Future of Flying,” commemorating the centennial of the Wright Brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk. As the dust was settling after 9/11, he used what was the world’s only life-sized instant Polaroid camera to create a project called Faces of Ground Zero, which became a book and generated approximately $2 million for the relief effort.
This Saturday & Sunday is the first of this year’s Spring Weekends at NYBG. Come kick off a new season of fun with the Native Plant Garden Wine Weekend on May 2 & 3—two days of tastings, tours, and live music in the most beautiful spring atmosphere New York has to offer! Purchase a souvenir wine glass to begin your journey through a flight of palate-pleasing wines from the top wine tours in New York State and beyond. Read on for details!
Between the billowing canopy of cherry blossoms above and the rolling waves of daffodils below, there hasn’t been much attention paid yet this spring to the classic tulip—such as this Darwin hybrid tulip.
The Antique Garden Furniture Fair opened last night with the annual Benefit Preview Party & Collectors’ Plant Sale, an elegant evening for admiring beautiful pieces for the home and garden while enjoying fine cocktails. Connoisseurs of the arts, or simple garden enthusiasts, can enjoy a similar soiree this Saturday at our all new Young Collectors’ Night. Tickets are available now, and entitle guests to a complimentary glass of champagne!
The Fair is open to All-Garden Pass ticket-holders throughout the weekend, so come admire the antiques on display after enjoying a brisk spring walk through the pink and white petals cascading from our flowering trees. The flowering cherries have joined the magnolias on grounds to brilliant effect, and this weekend is the best time to take in this dramatic phase of the spring season.