William Ewing, Flora Imaginaria exhibition lecture

Wednesday, January 31, 2024, 11:00AM

No charge for admission to lecture

William A. Ewing is a noted author, curator, professor, and museum director with fifty years of work in the field of photography. In his lecture, Ewing will discuss the history of the flower in photography and the social and cultural connections between humans and nature. He co-curated Flora Imaginaria with Danae Panchaud, with whom Ewing also co-authored Flora Photographica (2022), which recounts the history of flower photography from 1990 – 2020. This publication, which followed Ewing’s first book of the same name (1991) that explored flower photography from 1835 – 1990, served as the inspiration for the exhibition.

Flora Imaginaria: The Flower in Contemporary Photography celebrates the beauty and biodiversity of flowers in 71 photographs by 49 internationally acclaimed artists. This spectacular bouquet of floral imagery will be on display in the Four Arts’ Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden, providing a unique experience with art in the context of nature.

Flowers have been a source of inspiration for photographers since the medium’s inception. Today, flower photography remains in full bloom as contemporary photographers continue the storied tradition of depicting floral motifs in novel ways. Flora Imaginaria features images shot over the last 30 years and is an ode to this historically important photographic subject. It explores the aesthetic and decorative qualities of flowers and their rich cultural history as symbols and motifs through many genres of photography, including still lifes, botanical studies, portraits, studies of the body, street photography, and surrealist collages.

Images: Left, Ann Mandelbaum, Red Lily, 2020, courtesy of the artist; right, Robert Walker, Montréal botanique #43, 2009, © Robert Walker, courtesy of the artist.