Fields and Forests Afar—
A New York Botanical Garden
Scientific Expedition Through Illustration
September 21 through October 26
Opening reception Friday, September 21, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Michael Rothman has been a professional natural-history illustrator since the mid-1980s. He has worked as a field artist on biological expeditions to the Samoan Archipelago, Brazil, and on three occasions to Central French Guiana. Rothman made his first connection with The New York Botanical Garden through Ghillean T. Prance, then director of science, who arranged for him to prepare a painting depicting the canopy of an Amazonian rain forest for publication in the German magazine, Merian. Because of the scientific accuracy, as well as the beauty of his paintings, he was asked by Dr. Scott A. Mori, curator of botany at the NYBG, to submit a painting featuring selected species of Ericaceae, commonly known as the heath or heather family of plants, in an Andean habitat. It was so spectacular that Mr. Rothman was commissioned to paint additional canvases documenting the field discoveries of the other curators at the Botanical Garden.
Mr. Rothman has provided artwork for numerous books, including one pertaining to the ethnobotany of the Samoan archipelago, Nafanua: Saving the Samoan Rain Forest by Dr. Paul A. Cox, in which his line renderings introduce each of the chapters. He has also contributed to several children’s books—for example, Inside the Amazing Amazon; Jaguar in the Rain Forest; The Mystery of Mars; At Home with the Gopher Tortoise: The Story of a Keystone Species; and Here is the Tropical Rain Forest. Michael is also well-known for his natural history and anthropological paintings, which have frequently appeared in the Tuesday science section of The New York Times as well as in Natural History magazine.
Mr. Rothman is currently preparing designs for use by Ace Coinage, Inc. (www.acecoinage.com) in the production of collectible medallions and accompanying paintings with the goal of educating others about some of earth’s most fascinating and endangered creatures.
For information on other Mark W. Potter '48 Gallery events at Taft, please visit www.taftschool.org/pottergallery/