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Praised as one of the most accomplished botanical artists of the twentieth century, Margaret Stones served as the principal illustrator for Curtis's Botanical Magazine of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, for twenty-five years. A recipient of the Silver and Gold Royal Horticultural Society Veitch Memorial Medals and the Garden Club of America's Eloise Payne Luquer Medal, Stones established a new standard for botanical illustration during her long career. In 1975, Louisiana State University chancellor Paul W. Murrill commissioned Stones to create a series of drawings of native Louisiana plants and described the outcome of that project as a modern-day equivalent of John James Audubon's Birds of America. Stones's illustrations of Louisiana's native flora- eventually totaling over 200 exquisite watercolor drawings- inspired the 1980 LSU Press publication of a large folio of twelve loose prints and, in 1991, the release of Flora of Louisiana: Watercolor Drawings by Margaret Stones. Select originals composed a traveling exhibition hosted by numerous venues including the Louisiana State Museum; the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh; and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Decades after their completion, Stones's drawings of Louisiana flora remain on display in museums and serve as an exceptional resource in the LSU Libraries' Special Collections. Treasured by gardeners, art collectors, and botanists in and out of Louisiana, this contribution to Stones's oeuvre highlights the diversity of endemic plant species in southeastern North America and along the Gulf Coast. Drawn only from fresh plants gathered under the guidance of LSU professor Lowell E. Urbatsch, Stones's detailed and captivating depictions remain a lasting and unprecedented study of the state's natural beauty. This new edition offers the first complete collection of Stones's Louisiana illustrations on archival, acid-free paper, reproduced in elegant, oversize prints. Paired with botanical descriptions by Urbatsch, these exceptional museum-quality reproductions of the artist's watercolors provide intimate access to the precision and delicacy that define Stones's mastery.
Many years ago, during a long, confining illness in her native Australia, Margaret Stones whiled away the hours drawing the wildflowers friends placed at her bedside. Today she is acclaimed as one of the world's most distinguished botanical artists. Stones served for twenty-five years as the principal illustrator for Curtis's Botanical Magazine, contributing more than 400 drawings. She has also completed a six-volume illustrated work, The Endemic Flora of Tasmania, and has worked under commission for the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, England, the Royal Horticultural Society of England, and similar institutions the world over. In 1976, as part of the United States' bicentennial celebration, Louisiana State University commissioned Stones to execute six watercolour renderings of Louisiana flora. This initial project was so successful that Stones was asked to draw a much larger number of the state's native plants. Today Stones has completed more than 200 watercolours, all of which are maintained in the LSU Libraries' E. A. McIlhenny Natural History Collection. The drawings represent not only a collection of exquisite botanical art but an accurate scientific record of Louisiana's lush, varied, and beautiful flora.Flora of Louisiana reproduces the great bulk of Stones's collection. The volume contains more than 200 pages of full-colour and black-and-white illustrations. Each drawing is accompanied by a short text that gives information about the plant, including a physical description and details about habitat and growing conditions. The publications of Flora of Louisiana is set to coincide with the first of several international exhibitions of Stones's drawings, beginning in April, 1991.