A recent New York Times article describes the Grolier Club’s exhibition, “Gardening by the Book: Celebrating 100 Years of the Garden Club of America,” running now through July 27. For two years Oak Knoll has been the distributor of books for the Grolier Club, and the accompaniment to this exhibition is no exception. The article describes some of the intriguing images and themes from the exhibition, including some from the oldest book in the show: a 1612 catalog of bulbs and flowers by Emmanuel Sweert. Below you’ll find excerpts from the article along with some images from the book.
“Organized by the writer and art historian Arete Warren,“Gardening by the Book: Celebrating 100 Years of the Garden Club of America” presents more than 125 illustrated volumes about flowers and gardening, dating from the early 17th to the mid-20th century. All are from the Garden Club of America Library, of which Ms. Warren is chairman.”
“Live flowers have a lot going for them. Even the most common example can strike you as a natural, inherently beautiful work of art, whomever or whatever you may credit for creating it. Pictures of flowers, on the other hand, can be intriguing for what they reveal about human intellectual history.”
“Sweert’s book is open to a page depicting 10 varieties of tulips in color, suggesting how Sweert’s opus may have been an early impetus for Tulipmania, the early-17th-century craze that caused the prices of tulip bulbs to soar to absurd heights.”