Hunt Institute presents "Alphabetum Botanicum"

Event Date: 
September 13, 2018 - 5:00pm to December 14, 2018 - 5:00pm

The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation presents "Alphabetum Botanicum," which runs from 13 September through 14 December 2018. This exhibition features Kandis Vermeer Phillips' illuminated letters, which are intertwined with plants, mammals and insects. Each letter is paired with a botanical artwork from the Institute's collection to create a literal or amusing relationship between the two, such as the connection of ants with an aardvark and a peony bud, the sunflower as a food source for a cardinal or the similar shapes of a fox's tail and foxtail grass.

Opening reception
The reception on Thursday, 13 September (5:00-7:00 p.m.) is open to the public.
At 5:30 p.m. the curators and Phillips will give a short introduction to the exhibition in the gallery.

Artist demonstration
Phillips will give a demonstration on drawing letterforms in silverpoint in the gallery on Friday, 14 September (10:00 a.m.-noon and 2:00-4:00 p.m.). She will have available sketches showing the metalpoint process along with various metals and prepared papers with which visitors may experiment. In addition, she will discuss informally the history of illumination and metalpoint during the demonstration.

Image Caption
Left, F for the Fox, watercolor and shell gold on sheepskin parchment by Kandis Vermeer Phillips (1954–), ca.2010, 20 ×15 cm, HI Art accession no. 7891.08,reproduced by permission of the artistand right, Setaria faberi Herrm. [Setaria faberi R. A. W. Herrmann, Poaceae alt. Gramineae], ink on paper by an unknown artist for Albert S. Hitchcock (1865–1935), Manual of the Grasses of the United States, ed. 2, rev. by Agnes Chase (Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, p. 725, fig. 1106), Hitchcock-Chase Collection of Grass Drawings, on indefinite loan from the Smithsonian Institution, HI Art accession no. 2496.0187.

Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
5th Floor, Hunt Library
Carnegie Mellon University
4909 Frew Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Contact: Scarlett T. Townsend, Publication and Marketing Manager
Telephone: 412-268-2434
Email: [email protected]

Exhibit Link

Web site:

Event Type: 
Left, F for the Fox, watercolor and shell gold on sheepskin parchment by Kandis Vermeer Phillips,  right, Setaria faberi Herrm. artist unknown.