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Savor Insights From Explorers at the Intersections of Botany, Art, Literature, and History

Published on Nov 30, 2020

Karen Lawrence and James P. Folsom

Join Karen Lawrence and James P. Folsom on Wednesday, December 2, for a free virtual lecture on their insights from lifetimes spent exploring the intersections of botany, art, literature, and history.

This event will teach participants about the unknown wonders that The Huntington Library has to offer.

In the webinar, Dr. Folsom, the Telleen/Jorgenson Director of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington, shares insights into a lifetime spent exploring the intersections of botany, art, literature, and history.

For more than three decades, Folsom has overseen The Huntington’s extensive botanical collections, showcased in 18 thematic gardens spread over 130 public acres. He has dedicated much of his effort to programming that increases public interest in and understanding of the science, culture, and history of plants and gardens.

Earlier this year he was honored by the American Horticultural Society with its Liberty Hyde Bailey Award, the organization’s highest honor.

Folsom received his bachelor’s degree in botany from Auburn University, a master’s degree in biology from Vanderbilt University, and a doctorate in botany from the University of Texas at Austin. His academic research centered on the orchid family, with much time spent in Central and South America—including a year in Colombia on a Fulbright Predoctoral Fellowship. He has published numerous articles for scholarly and lay audiences and has curated exhibitions at The Huntington on topics ranging from orchids to Carl Linnaeus.

The American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta presented him with a Professional Citation in 1999, and the Garden Club of America awarded him a Medal of Honor in 2007. He was recognized as a Friend of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America in 1996 and as a Member-at-Large of the Garden Club of America in 1998.

After Dr. Folsom’s presentation, Huntington President Karen Lawrence joins him in conversation before taking questions from virtual attendees around the world. This will be one of Folsom’s last public appearances as director of the gardens before he retires at the end of the year.

The event is held online via Zoom and starts at 4 p.m.

To register, visit

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