Gene Bauer - Botanical Artist

Daffodil (Narcissus 'Hawera') (Courtesy of ESRI va the LA Times)

"I like nature, and I like beautiful things." Gene Bauer

Every once in a while I stumble across people doing incredible things. They have a mission and dedication that takes them past the simple daily activities of life. Gene Bauer is one of those people. She shared her love of native California plants by serving as the native flora chairwoman of California Garden Clubs Inc in the 70's.
Right: Desert mariposa (Calochortus kennedyi)
Left: Sweet orange tree (Citrus sinensis) (Courtesy ESRI via the LA Times )

Each month she created a short booklet about one native plant, including a map of its location in California, an essay about the plant and hand screened a print. These booklets went out to the 26 clubs to educate their members about their native flora. As much as she is a botanist she is also an artist. Each booklet was numbered, dated and signed.
Gene Bauer with her work. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

What impresses me is she had a clear vision and consistently produced more than 50 of these beautiful booklets between 1972-78. By combining art and botany she had more impact than simply art or botany alone.

These prints are now available in her new book, Botanical Serigraphs: The Gene Bauer Collection.

Part of the reason her work appeals to me is her ability to condense information into a form people use and appreciate. It is something I try to do on a much smaller scale on this blog. She reminds me to think bigger and that combining two loves, like art and botany, can be very potent.

To see more about Gene Bauer and her prints visit:

Elizabeth Licata's article "A Gardener's Art Project" on GardenRant.com

Deborah Netburn's article "‘Botanical Serigraphs: The Gene Bauer Collection’ illustrates native California plants" from the LA Times

LA Time's Online Gallery "The art of Gene Bauer"

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