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Philodendron: From Pan-Latin Exotic to American Modern

Price: $24.95

By Christian A. Larsen
with an essay by Mike Maunder
and contributions by
Matthew Abess, Silvia Barisione,
and Whitney Richardson

Philodendron: From Pan-Latin Exotic to American Modern follows the migration of tropical plants from their native
habitats in South and Central America to North American and European gardens and interiors. In constructing their “social lives,” the catalogue to the exhibition surveys the arts and sciences to follow the plants from out of the jungle and into the home, from the sixteenth century to today.

Botanists first identified plants for governments seeking natural resources to fuel colonial empires. Artists circulated tropical imagery that became emblematic of exotic Latin American identities. Architects and designers popularized the plants for modern spaces and products to such a wide extent that they have become common houseplants. By tracing these developments, Philodendron reveals cross-cultural perceptions and representations of national and cultural identity between the global “North” and “South.”

The book is illustrated with a stunning range of images. Included are objects created by indigenous Amazonian peoples; herbarium specimens; botanical drawings by Charles Plumier and Heinrich Wilhelm Schott, who first classified hundreds of Philodendron species; the Imperial Station for the Vienna Metropolitan Railway designed by Otto Wagner; and such artists and designers as Henri Matisse, Roberto Burle Marx, Paulo Werneck, Dorothy Draper, Richard Neutra,Charles and Ray Eames, Michele Oka Doner, Erdem, and Herzog & deMeuron,all of whom have found inspiration in the plants.

Publisher: The Wolfsonian–FIU, 2015
Softcover: 127 pages, 7.25”W” x 10”H
ISBN-13: 978-0-9677359-8-6