Tradescant Lecture with Jennifer Potter and Karen Hearn, 17/10/13
Uncover the hidden history of plant collecting, pirates, and royal patronage behind our new acquisition, the Portrait Miniature of John Tradescant the younger (supported by the Art Fund), with our speakers Jennifer Potter (Author of Strange Blooms the curious lives and adventures of the John Tradescants), and Karen Hearn (former Tate Curator and one of Britain's leading experts in 17th century art).
John Tradescant, and his son, were at the vanguard of a seventeenth-century explosion of curiosity and exploration in gardening and plant collecting, epitomising a new breed of 'curious' gardeners bringing horticultural treasures back to England from the four corners of the globe.
Karen Hearn was the Curator of 16th & 17th Century British Art at Tate Britain from 1992 to 2012, and is now an Honorary Professor at University College London. Karen lectures, writes and teaches widely on British art between 1500 and 1710. In 1995, she curated the influential Tate exhibition Dynasties: Painting in Tudor & Jacobean England 1530-1630. Her last Tate Britain exhibitions were Van Dyck & Britain (2009) and Rubens & Britain (2011-12). Other publications include a book on the portrait-miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard (2005), and Lady Anne Clifford: Culture, Patronage & Gender in 17th Century Britain(2009), which she co-edited. She contributed to this summer’s V&A exhibition Tudors, Stuarts & the Russian Tsars - and toFrom West Country to World’s End which will open at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter at the end of October.
Best known as a horticultural historian, Jennifer Potter is the author of four novels and five works of non-fiction, most recently Seven Flowers and How They Shaped Our World. Her dual biography of the John Tradescants, Strange Blooms, The Curious Lives and Adventures of the John Tradescants, appeared in 2006. Long listed for the Duff Cooper Prize, it was described by Jenny Uglow in the Sunday Times as a 'tour de force' and by Jane Stevenson in the Telegraph as a 'wonderful book'. A regular reviewer on garden history themes for theTimes Literary Supplement, she is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at King's College London and has enjoyed fellowships at Warwick University, as Honorary Teaching Fellow on the Warwick Writing Programme, and at Hawthornden Castle.