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Botanical Illustrations: The Precision of a Scientist,
The Passion of an Artist, The Heart of a Gardener

Dorothy Mikuska

FRIDAY, November 14, 2014

To be held at

McCrone Research Institute
2820 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616

IMPORTANT – NEW meeting start time!
6:00 PM: Mexican Food: Tariff ~ $15.00
Contact Freddie Smith for Reservations / Cancellations at 312-842-7100 or Freddie@mcri.org by Noon THURSDAY, November 14, 2014

7:00 PM: Presentation
Botanical illustrations are often misunderstood as drawings of pretty flowers that a camera and Photoshop could represent better. Although botanical art from ancient times into the Renaissance functioned as the handmaiden of science stemming from the need to identify medicinal plants, botanical illustrations have also documented the microscopical world from early practitioners like botanists Marcello Malpighi, Nehemiah Grew, Franz Bauer and Georg Ehret; the flora of expeditions by Captain Cook, Maria Sibylla Merian, and Margaret Mee; and promoted gardening, agriculture, and conservation worldwide by conveying what the eye, not just the camera lens sees. However, the real joy of botanical illustrations lies in the aesthetics of each work that gives witness to the beauty that a single flower, leaf, or fern spore can inspire in drawings and prints.

Bio Sketch: Dorothy Mikuska has a BA from Loyola University, MA from Northwestern in English, and a CAS from National Lewis University in school administration. She has taken many courses at the Terra Museum of American Art, the Newberry Library, and the Field Museum. She taught high school English for 36 years, and particularly enjoyed teaching writing and connecting art to the literature students read. After retiring she started ePen&Inc., an educational software company, and with Ron Slatin, a past SMSI member, created PaperToolsPro, software to help student and professional writers avoid plagiarism by managing and organizing their research with notes, citations, and bibliographies. Dorothy has continued teaching an adult staff development course, Reading Around the World, at District 87. She is also active in the Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Community Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago where she is on its Board of Directors and yearly gives lectures on various topics on art like Artemesia Gentileschi, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Victorian Women Watercolorists, the Surrealism of Remedios Varo, and Botanical Illustrations


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