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Flora Paperback – March 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

Fashion photographer Nick Knight shows his love for the pressed flower and plant collection of the Museum of Natural History of London in Flora. Each specimen is carefully chosen and photographed. Deciding between beautiful plants was quite a task for Knight: "The herbarium ... contains over six million samples. It has taken over three and a half years to discover plants for this book. Thousands were taken out for consideration.... I would look forward to each day of searching enormously." The 46 full-color plates pop so vividly from the white backgrounds that it's almost as if there were actual pressed flowers between the pages. The specimens are graceful, geometric, twisted, or spindly with colorful petals, leaves, and seeds. In their flattened arrangements, they look otherworldly, like sea creatures or insects frozen in time. The book includes a detailed commentary of the various flora and fauna written by botanical curator Sandra Knapp. She offers great information, including the history and human uses of the various flowers and plants along with the relationships between different plant species. There is a real energy to her descriptions--the flora become a cast of characters, each with personality and fascinating quirks that only nature can provide. --J.P. Cohen

From Booklist

In this visually stunning portfolio, avant-garde fashion photographer Knight segues effortlessly to chronicler of pressed plant material. An impressive selection process, with Knight looking over millions of plants and flowers at London's Natural History Museum's herbarium, led to the culling of a few dozen specimens. In the end Knight's camera captures exhilarating qualities of brilliant translucency and sensational graphic structure as he depicts the beautiful bracts of the silver tree, the myriad patterns of seaweed, or the searing hue and suggestive form of the orchid Dracula roezlii. These captivating images provoke a desire for further study, and, thankfully, museum curator Knapp provides fascinating commentary. After explaining the purpose of maintaining a library of pressed plants, Knapp offers revelatory background on plant hunters and explorers, along with aspects of scientific and cultural contexts for each exquisite botanical specimen. Alice Joyce
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 1st edition (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810929880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810929883
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.4 x 14.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,611,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Brooks on February 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Captivating in their arrangement and iridescent quality, these photos almost appear other-worldy. Many of these pressed flower photographs are so vibrant they practically jump off the page. Full-page prints on white backgrounds are solely devoted to the natural beauty of each specimen. Some are more artistically "styled" than others but all are undeniably striking. The second half of the book is comprised of detailed descriptions on each specimen including latin name, region of cultivation, history and foklore.
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