Library Current Exhibitions

Current Library Exhibitions

BRIT Library has ongoing exhibitions on view in the Upper Atrium Collections Gallery and the Library, which highlight the Library’s Arader Natural History Collection of Art and rare materials from the Library’s Special Collections and Rare Book Room. The Library also oversees installations on current BRIT Research Programs in the Upper Atrium Research Gallery.

Traveling through Texas’ Treasures

April – June 2022

Marie Wesby (1912-1999)
Coral honeysuckle – 
Lonicera sempervirens, circa 1989
Watercolor on paper

Slightly over 20 years ago, the book A Treasury of Texas Flora: The Botanical Watercolors of Marie C. Wesby was published, featuring the late Marie Wesby’s watercolors of native Texas flowers coupled with text by Wesby and Susan Sander about the plants’ growing seasons and etymologies.

Marie Wesby studied art at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, working with noted instructors of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean art including Ryozo Ogura, a master of the sumi-e—or black ink painting—style.  She also trained at the Morton Arboretum and volunteered her artistic skills to the Morton as well as the Field Museum.

Though A Treasury of Texas Flora’s artworks are not black and white as typical sumi-e paintings are, Wesby attempted to capture the essence of plants, rather than approximating a photographic likeness of them, through simplicity of style and attention to brush strokes.

Marie and her husband Vern were early members of BRIT, and they were also founders of the Native Plant Society of Texas.  Their participation in the latter prompted them to travel across Texas with Vern photographing and Marie painting Texas native plants.  Marie and Vern donated these watercolors from their cross-state travels to the BRIT Archives, and BRIT Library owns a copy of A Treasury of Texas FloraBRIT Library & Special Collections

Tracing Topiaries And Finding Catesby’s Birds


Sweet osmanthus, Olea fragransfrom Traité des Arbres et Arbustes que l’on cultive en France en pleine terre (1801–1819) by Pierre-Joseph Redouté. Original from the New York Public Library. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

October 2020 – June 2021

Topiaries have an extraordinary history and presence in gardens. Spanning centuries, with their origins in the gardens of Rome, they extend across the world through Asia, Australia, the Americas, and beyond. They have evolved and transformed through the years taking many forms that surprise and delight, becoming multi-directional accentuation points for the garden. 

Tracing Topiaries and Finding Catesby’s Birds, which runs concurrently with the Fort Worth Botanic Garden’s Topiaries in the Garden show, highlights those plants often or occasionally used for topiaries as well as birds frequently found among their foliage. A selection of pieces from the Library’s Arader Natural History Collection of Art is on view with works by Pierre Joseph Redouté, Leonhart Fuchs, William Roxburgh, and the wonderful birds of Mark Catesby. Rare books from the Library’s collection and specimens from the Herbarium are on view as well.

This exhibition is part of a collaboration between the Botanical Research Institute of Texas Library and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Topiaries in the Garden is on view October 16, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

Upper Atrium Research Gallery

Auxiliary Collections at the BRIT Herbarium

A single collecting event can result in multiple derivative specimens and auxiliary collections, such as fruit, wood, slide, seed, and photographs. It is the goal of curators and biodiversity informaticians to connect these various resources in a way that is meaningful to our study of an organism. At BRIT, our herbarium is complemented by a collection of over 16,000 microscope slides, along with over 5,000 light micrographs and scanning electron micrographs of pollen.  This auxiliary collection enriches botanical studies and adds value to our collection as a resource for research and education.

Ferns & Lycophytes of the BRIT Herbarium

Dr. Alejandra Vasco has marshaled the effort to produce an exhibit about the ca. 37,300 ferns and lycophytes in the BRIT Philecology Herbarium. You can download a PDF of the exhibit in English and Spanish here, and take a closer look at two featured specimens further into this article. Ferns & Lycophytes of the BRIT Herbarium

Hidden Gardens of the BRIT Herbarium

A closer look at eight common bryophytes of the Dallas-Fort Worth area by BRIT Research Associate Charles Gardner.

Related Articles