Beckler's Botanical Bounty
Sunday 4 March 2018
Australian Garden Auditorium, Cranbourne Gardens
Click here for directions
Bookings are essential; ring 5990 2200 for more information
Invitation for you and your friends to a special afternoon of adventure, history, botany, art that also includes afternoon refreshments!
Presenters will include:Dr Linden Gillbank, Honorary Researcher, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne, who contributed the essay on von Mueller and Hermann Beckler in Burke & Wills, The Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Expedition; Dr Roslyn Glow OAM and Jan Rosenberg, participating artists will illustrate some of the excitement of plant discovery and portrayal; Mali Moir, leader and coordinator of the project will outline some of the botanical and artistic challenges and what may be seen at the Ballarat Gallery.
The fate of Burke and Wills on the Victorian Exploring Expedition in 1860 is familiar to most Australians. What is less acknowledged is the considerable scientific legacy left by the scientists who joined the Expedition – surveyor, astronomer, meteorologist, geologist, mineralogist, zoologist and botanist. This last role was fulfilled part-time by medical officer and botanical collector, Dr Hermann Beckler.
Beckler was to resign when the Expedition reached Menindee on the Darling River. He remained there awaiting a replacement doctor for the Expedition, and was at last able to make considerable progress with his botanical findings. He sent 120 plant specimens to Ferdinand Mueller at the Melbourne Herbarium, where they are housed. Only one plant specimen was painted in the field, and this task was never completed.
As part of the 150th recognition of the Expedition, a group of Melbourne botanical artists decided to celebrate Dr Hermann Beckler's contribution by revisiting his plant collections made in Menindee. Every year since 2010 a group, led by botanical artist Mali Moir and with generous help from botanist Andrew Denham, has spent time searching for, collecting and pressing specimens for lodgement in the Melbourne and Sydney herbariums, and painting them.
This exciting and challenging project has culminated with the Beckler's Botanical Bounty Exhibition at the Ballarat Gallery, opened on 27 February by Professor Tim Entwisle, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
The Cranbourne Friends botanical illustrators group will be travelling to Ballarat to see the exhibition on Wednesday 14 March. All welcome.