BBG’s New Photo Exhibition Reveals Garden’s Great History
BBG Presents “Now & Then” Exhibition Through January 31, 2010
99 Years of Garden History Portrayed by Two Photographers
Release Date: November 18, 2009
Brooklyn, NY—Brooklyn Botanic Garden's iconic specialty gardens, plant collections, and architectural features have been the inspiration for casual and professional photographers for decades. The Garden's current gallery exhibit, Now & Then (through January 31, 2010), showcases BBG's first century as an urban oasis by juxtaposing dramatic historic images of the Garden's early years, taken by longtime staff photographer Louis Buhle, with vibrant contemporary portraits by Antonio M. Rosario.
Louis Buhle (1890–1972) was Brooklyn Botanic Garden's official photographer from 1915 until 1968. During his remarkable 53-year tenure, he documented every aspect of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, producing more than 11,000 negatives and creating an aesthetically and historically consistent body of work. He recorded changes in the physical plant and events at the Garden, including dedications, groundbreakings, fairs, and educational programs. Like the work of his contemporaries Lewis Wickes Hine and Berenice Abbott, Buhle's photographs were animated by a singular aesthetic vision. Without sacrificing the documentary edge of his work, he sought to illuminate the beauty of his subjects in every image.
Antonio M. Rosario (1964–) has been photographing Brooklyn Botanic Garden for more than 20 years. From the riotous color of Cherry Esplanade in spring to the serene stillness of the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden in winter, his photographs effectively capture texture, detail, and mood, providing viewers with an intense experience of the Garden. Inspired and guided by Louis Buhle's historic photographs, Rosario uses his talent to highlight both how the Garden has changed over the past century and how it remains the same, comparing the mature Garden with its sapling self. His work continues the story that Buhle began, portraying the Garden's lovely buildings and ever-changing landscape of trees, shrubs, and flowers, flourishing where empty lots and fields once stood.
Now & Then is on display in Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery through January 31, 2010. The exhibition is free with regular Garden admission; BBG offers free weekday admission from November 17, 2009, through March 2, 2010. For more information, please visit bbg.org/vis2/gallery/nowandthen/.