A Lively Experiment

Notes on collections and events at the RIHS

Object Thursday: February Flowers

As another day of cold winter rain seeps into our bones, we cannot help but day dream of spring.  As a typical Rhode Islander, I am never content with the current weather, often wishing it were otherwise, it is too hot or cold or dry or wet.

Edward Lewis Peckham (1812-1889). Yellow Lady Slipper June 9/66 (9 June 1866). Watercolor and Ink on paper. Peckham Collection G1154

Edward Lewis Peckham (1812-1889). Cypripedium – Yellow Ladies Slipper June 9/66 (9 June 1866). Watercolor and Ink on paper. Peckham Collection G1154, Vol. 5, P. 56

We have an astonishing portfolio of botanical illustrations in our collection. Drawn and painted by Edward Lewis Peckham (1812-1889) they are exacting studies of Rhode Island plants.

Originally in bound in five volumes called Collection of Watercolors, Illustrating Plants and Wildflowers In and Around Rhode Island the bindings were in various stages of deterioration. For the safety and preservation of the drawings, the over 400 pages of illustrations are now housed in their own folders in archival boxes.

Peckham’s illustration of the Yellow Ladies Slipper is one of my favorites. In the woods behind the house I grew up in, in northern Rhode Island,  there were a few lady slippers. I can see them still, poking up through the leaf litter, bright yellow or pink in a forest of dull brown and ochre. Nothing beats the winter greys like a brilliant yellow lady slipper.

RHiX17583_web

Edward Lewis Peckham (1812-1889). LUPINUS PERENNIS (Wild Lupine) June 1855. Watercolor and Ink on paper. Peckham Collection G1154, Vol. 2, P. 43

Another favorite of mine is the Wild Lupine illustration, completed eleven years before the Yellow Ladies Slipper, it is beautiful – Peckham has captured the very shape of the leaves and the color of the petals, the detail in the stem and the veins.  Trying to limit this blog post to two images from the over 400 illustrations of Rhode Island plants was very difficult indeed.

RHiX17589_web

Edward Lewis Peckham (1812-1889)

Edward Lewis Peckham also painted scenes of Providence, including Field’s Point, Market Square and the Cove.

The finding aid for this wonderful collection of watercolor painting and illustrations is available in the Library Reading Room.

~Dana Signe K. Munroe, Registrar

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on 28 February 2013 by in Collection Notes, Object Thursdays and tagged , , , .

Stanton Beldon’s 1862 Diary on Twitter!

  • Mr. Spalding preached to-day at Fruit Hill – his closing sermon, for the present - preached 8 Sabbaths. 7 months ago
  • A great battle yesterday at Manassas junction on the old ground of the former battle. Federal arms victorious. 8000 of our men killed. 7 months ago
  • I have marketed my fruit to-day as usual. Apples are plenty and low. We are also busy on our wood-house. 7 months ago

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,780 other followers

wordpress statistics
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,780 other followers

%d bloggers like this: