Longwood Gardens Partners with Chester County Historical Society for Legacy of Plant Exploration

Clockwise from top left: David Culp, Adrian Martinez, and Peter Zale.

The Chester County Historical Society continuously ties together people, places, and stories from several centuries in ways that inform, surprise, and excite us. Nowhere is this more apparent than its current exhibit, Adrian Martinez Presents The Visionary World of Humphry Marshall 1750-1800, a story told through original paintings that bring to life one of Chester County’s most extraordinary citizens.

Now, for the first time, Longwood Gardens is partnering with CCHS in order to bring together three experts, weaving a story entailing history, botany, and art. Join the nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting the history of Chester County on Thursday, March 2 from 6:30-9 PM, as it presents, in partnership with Longwood Gardens, a fascinating evening exploring A Legacy of Plant Exploration.

Enjoy a wine and cheese reception at CCHS located at 225 North High Street in West Chester, tour the exhibit, and learn from three notable speakers: artist Adrian Martinez, Longwood Gardens’ instructor David Culp, and Longwood Gardens’ curator Peter Zale.

The trio will share their exciting stories of plant exploration, as they take their audience through a journey from the mid-1700s to modern day.

Martinez will offer his unique perspective on historic local plantsman Humphry Marshall. Culp, author of The Layered Garden, will discuss modern-day plant collection from an industry perspective. And Zale will tell stories from Longwood’s own plant expeditions to far-away lands.

“This is a unique opportunity to learn from three leaders in their respective fields discussing the discovery of rare plants that over time are not only saved from extinction, but become naturalized and common as dandelions,” said Martinez.

Following the lecture, guests will have the opportunity to explore CCHS’s current exhibit, Martinez’s The Visionary World of Humphry Marshall, 1750-1800, which brings to life the people who contributed to the stunning arts and sciences in early Pennsylvania. The exhibit focuses on Marshall – a botanist, astronomer, stone mason, businessman, and farmer – and others of his era, like the Englishmen Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, Hannah Freeman, Susanna Wright, and John Bartram.

The exhibit showcases 12 original paintings depicting the evolution of Chester County from frontier to farmland in the 18th century and features artifacts from the CCHS collection. During this period in Chester County’s history, ordinary people as well as the “great and strange” residents of the area were witness to, and sometimes participants in, Pennsylvania’s transformation into the cultural and financial heartbeat of America.

Tickets for this exclusive event are $39 per person, and can be purchased by clicking here.

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