SF Botanical Garden Society’s Library of Horticulture Hosting Special Reception on Saturday, May 19, 2012 for New Botanical Art Exhibit

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From now until August 2012, botanical art from the estate of Barbara and Roland Pitschel will be on display and for sale at San Francisco Botanical Garden Society’s Horticulture Library. There will be a special reception honoring the Pitschel’s gift and the Library Art Program at the Library on Saturday, May 19 from 3 to 6 pm. All the artwork in the exhibition is available for sale, with proceeds benefiting the Library.

Barbara and Roland Pitschel

San Francisco Botanical Garden Society is hosting a special reception introducing its latest art exhibit and sale on Saturday, May 19, 2012 from 3 to 6 pm at the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture. A collection of over 100 pieces of fine art graciously donated by the late Barbara and Roland Pitschel will be on display and for sale at the Library until August.

Barbara Pitschel was Head Librarian of the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, following Head Librarian Jane Gates in 1989. During Pitschel’s tenure, 1981-2010, the Library grew to become the most comprehensive horticultural library in northern California.

She was a long-standing member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL), receiving the Charles Robert Long Award of Merit in 2006 for her outstanding dedication to CBHL and her many contributions to the field of horticultural literature and information service and research.

Barbara and her husband Roland were also passionate about preserving our native flora and were founding and lifetime members of the Yerba Buena Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Barbara and Roland were leaders in the restoration work and planning that became the Bernal Hilltop Native Grassland Restoration Project, and were honored by the Trust for Public Land for their thirty years of volunteer park stewardship.

The largest part of Barbara's time, however, was spent overseeing the operation and growth of the Library. One of the many areas of the Library program that she nurtured and guided was the changing displays of botanical art.

From the earliest years the Library’s walls have continually displayed exhibitions of art – ranging from original watercolors, oils, and drawings to a wide variety of printing techniques including lithographs, etchings, engravings, woodcuts and linocuts, as well as film and digital photography.

Time periods shown have ranged from 18th and 19th century prints to state-of-the-art digital plant scans. Honoring and recognizing the history of botanical art and the San Francisco Botanical Garden as inspiration for many artists, the Library's art exhibits have included many well known artists as well as encouraging promising newcomers to the field.

Barbara and Roland's art collection of over 100 pieces reflects the focus and dedication that was evident in their lives. The works were purchased mostly from artists they knew or who exhibited at the Library and though some may be quite rare and valuable now, they were collected solely for their enjoyment, as encouragement for the art, and nearly always for their depiction of our native flora. The collection includes works by well known botanical artists and represents many different styles. Kristin Jakob, Margo Bors, Henry Evans, Lee Boerger, Linda Vorobik, Sally Robertson, Sharon Beals and Claus Sievert are among those represented in the exhibit.

It was Barbara's wish that after she passed away her art collection would be donated to the Library for a special exhibition and sale with proceeds to benefit the Library. Her daughter Justine as sole beneficiary has generously honored that wish. The botanical art from the estate of Barbara and Roland Pitschel will be on display and for sale May through August 2012.

For information about the art exhibit and reception, how to become a Garden Society member, volunteer opportunities available at the Garden, or any of San Francisco Botanical Garden Society’s products and services, please call (415) 666-2211 or visit http://www.sfbotanicalgarden.org.

About Barbara and Roland Pitschel
Barbara was a long-standing member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL), receiving the Charles Robert Long Award of Merit in 2006 for her outstanding dedication to CBHL and her many contributions to the field of horticultural literature and information service and research.

Barbara and Roland were also passionate about preserving our native flora and were founding and lifetime members of the Yerba Buena Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Barbara and Roland were leaders in the restoration work and planning that became the Bernal Hilltop Native Grassland Restoration Project, and were honored by the Trust for Public Land for their thirty years of volunteer park stewardship.

About San Francisco Botanical Garden Society
San Francisco Botanical Garden Society works in partnership with the City of San Francisco/Recreation and Park Department to support San Francisco Botanical Garden, whose 55 acres in Golden Gate Park includes more than 8,000 different kinds of plants native to California and from throughout the world. This tremendous plant diversity, with almost 30 percent of the species wild-collected and many rare and endangered, is displayed in 26 geographic and thematic gardens. The Botanical Garden Society’s mission is to build communities of support for the Botanical Garden and to cultivate the bond between people and plants. With the help of its members, donors and volunteers, the Botanical Garden Society funds Garden improvements, provides curatorial and plant collections management services, propagates plants for the Botanical Garden and for sale to the public, maintains the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, offers year-round educational and community programming, operates the Garden Bookstore and welcomes visitors from San Francisco, the Bay Area and around the world.

San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum is situated in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. SFBG’s 26 distinct gardens and collections include African plants, Asian plants, and rarities from Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America, plus SFBG’s award-winning California Native Plant Garden, complete with a century-old redwood forest. These collections of rare plants, exotic plants and endangered plants make a trip to SFBG one of the best things to do in San Francisco.

SFBG has daily docent-led San Francisco day tours, and can arrange private tours. SFBG’s daily and monthly plants sales are a unique opportunity to acquire garden plants and plant seeds seldom found in commercial plant nurseries or garden centers. SFBG’s educational programs include gardening classes, educational lectures, guided walks, children’s garden programs, treasure hunts, and other family activities.

The SFBG Bookstore features numerous gardening books and volumes on related subjects including natural science, environmental conservation, horticulture, plant life and gardening tips.

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