Wildflowers for a Winter Season


James L. Reveal, botanist and adjunct faculty member in the School of Integrative Plant Sciences, was internationally known for his work in plant systematics and the history of botanical exploration. He was also an extraordinary photographer.

The newest exhibit in Mann Library provides a window into his images, which bring into focus the fantastic shapes, intricate patterns, myriad textures and vivid colors present in even the smallest flower blossoms.

“Wild Flowers for a Winter Season” originally was planned in collaboration with Reveal, who died in January. During his long career, he made more than 500 published contributions to botany and collected more than 9,000 plant specimens from North America, Central America and China. He was an authority on plant nomenclature and on the history of American botany and the botany of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, about which he wrote several books and articles. He has been honored with four plant species and one genus named for him by his colleagues.

At Mann, Reveal was known as a frequent library patron and enthusiastic believer in the importance of rich library collections for rigorous taxonomy. This posthumous exhibit of his photographs offers a tribute to his love for the field of botany and his dedication to the pursuit of good science.

It will be on display in the Mann Gallery through March, and a slideshow is available online. The exhibit has been made possible through the support of the Elizabeth E. (Betty) Rowley Fund for Mann Library and the Cornell School of Integrative Plant Sciences.