Flora Borinqueniana: Three Centuries of Botanical Illustrations

Thanks to the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Para la Naturaleza will be showcasing Flora Borinqueniana: Three Centuries of Botanical Illustrations, an invitation to a journey through different periods in the development of botanical knowledge in the island and its intersection with Puerto Rican history.

The journey aims to expose the audience to the fascinating stories behind elements of the local flora and history that are familiar to many today, but not necessarily seen as interrelated. To successfully represent a variety of topics related to both, the local history and the history of botany in Puerto Rico, the exhibition takes the visitor through a chronological voyage, from the late 18th century to the early decades of the 20th century, with a final space that bridges history with present-day flora. The juxtaposition of history and botany provides the guiding elements while interpreting material culture like original manuscripts and documents, art and objects, with an emphasis on plant illustrations. Most of the plant illustrations and botanical manuscripts have not been exhibited before to the public; some were “lost” or forgotten and have been rediscovered in recent years. The exhibition provides opportunities for personal engagement with the content through a diversity of material culture, including the use of technology, and direct contact with living plants. The design, text content, and interpretive activities aim to make Flora Borinqueniana accessible to all levels of interests and intellects.

Agustín Stahl
(Curazao, 1842 – Bayamón, 1917)
Rudolphia Volubilis
Watercolor on paper
6″ x 8 1/2″
Collection of UPRM
Gift from Dr. José A. Nolla