History of Botany in the Rhode Island Area
Todd, Angela .
George H. M. Lawrence (1910-1978) and his international impact on botany.
When I asked how he got started taking botanists’ portraits, biologist Walter H. Hodge wrote me a few years ago “When I was head of NSF’s Tokyo office one day who should walk in but George Lawrence, visiting Japan for some purpose I do not recall! He had recently taken the director job at the Hunt and described the program of building up a photo co llection of world botanists of the past and present. He knew I had a hobby of photographing plants for my own teaching purposes when I was a UMass professor. He proposed that I start taking informal portraits of botanists since he knew that my regular job, stateside (as well as in Japan) involved visiting NSF grantees at their places of work. I also knew I usually had my camera with me at all times. He indicated I would receive payment for each photo submitted. I was not too exuberant at the offer and pointed out that plants never argued with me about being photographed but that human subjects might very well complain if they thought my portrait of them was poor. George won out and of course my location in Japan included regular visits to universities in that country as well as other sites I had to visit (Korea, Taiwan, and countries as far as Australia and New Zealand made it great for accomplishing people photos as well as what I was taking as an interested tourist” (Hodge, Pensacola, FL, to Todd, Pittsburgh, PA, 10 August 2008, Hunt Institute Archives Correspondence files). Lawrence’s early insistence is responsible for thousands of portraits of plants folks
This photo-heavy presentation will examine how Lawrence, who was born and died in Rhode Island, contributed in multiple ways to the international profile of botany and its history, sometimes with great panache.
Log in to add this item to your schedule
1 - Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Archives, 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA
History of botany
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Ballroom B/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 9:15 AM