Carlos Pau Español postcards collection exhibition
  • Duration: permanent online exhibition.
  • Descripción: This exhibition presents a sample of 118 postcards, the most significative and interesting, divided by geographic areas or topics from the Carlos Pau Español Archive Fund (CPE). The Fund contains more than 4000 documents (letters, postcards, bills, etc.) that Pau kept from 1872 to 1937, the year of his death. It was donated that same year to the Botanic Institute of Barcelona (IBB) where is now preserved. A first part of the collection had already been catalogued and the part that remained uncatalogued has been catalogued in 2021 thanks to the Dr. Uriach donation and, soon, the complete collection will be available online. Postcards (266) represent the 17% of the studied documents, while the vast majority (80%) are letters and the rest correspond to various documents such as invoices or receipts. This large quantity of postcards in the CPE Fund can be explained by the fact that they were not only a way to send greetings or memories from the visited places but also the cheapest and fastest way of communication.
  • The current postcard exhibition has been set with the aim to highlight and show part of the CPE Collection. The main interest lies in the possibility to appreciate cities, monuments or artworks from the beginning of the 20th century. The most represented building is the Bonanova School in Sarrià (Barcelona). That is because Brother Sennen, an important botanist at the time, was one of the main Pau correspondents and teacher at Bonanova School. Postcards showing Catalan towns and big Spanish or European cities are also interesting cause they allow us to see how they’ve changed over time.
  • Visit the online exhibition

  • This project has been carried out thanks to Dr. Uriach donation.

Salvadoriana exhibition
  • Duration: from May 19th, 2014 to April 3rd, 2016.
  • Description: Salvadoriana presents a little-known treasure of Barcelona’s scientific heritage: the cabinet of curiosities built up over two-and-a-half centuries by the Salvador family in their apothecary shop on Ample street (Barcelona). What was a cabinet of curiosities? It was a private space, open only to selected visitors, full of cabinets with drawers and shelves containing objects of all kinds, most having a natural origin, collected due to their rarity or their status as curiosities and marvels. For three centuries, these cabinets were a privileged venue for the development of natural history—the discipline that gave origin to the natural sciences of today. Chronologically, the materials date from early 17th century to the middle of the 19th century. Geo-graphically, they initiate in Barcelona connecting, as a consequecence of the exchange with other naturalists, with dozens of cities from Mediterranean and Atlantic Europe. Hence, from the back room of their apothecary shop on Carrer Ample, on the corner of Carrer Fusteria, the Salvadors connected Barcelona with this network of cities, where other naturalists alike kept cabinets of curiosities and exchanged knowledge and materials. Rescuing, preserving, studying and valuing this scientific heritage turns this collection into a great tool for knowledge.
  • More information: catalogue
Discovering Eugeni Sierra
  • Duration: from February 9th, 2010 to February 20th, 2011.
  • Description: A bioexposition submersing into the universe of Eugeni Sierra, wandering through his life: travelling to 1930s Barcelona, to the Chile of the 1950s and into the heart of his illustrations. Born with talents for the arts, being put at the service of science and maintained throughout his life. Being passionate for botany and succeeding at making a way of life from it. While raising a family, changing countries, and pursuing dreams both at home and in distant lands. These are some of the statements that emerge when talking about Eugeni Sierra i Ràfols (1919-1999), the illustrator and botanist disciple of the great scientist Pius Font i Quer. This exhibition is a tribute to him: a chest full of clues leading to an understanding of Eugeni Sierra and his body of work.
  • More informationpress dossiertriptych and catalogue
Vegetable fibres. Plants help us living
  • Duration: from June 26th to March 31st, 2009.
  • Description: Plant fibres play a role in our cultural development and our economic progress. In this exhibition we invite you to reflect on the uses of these fibres in the Mediterranean basin, according to the plants that provide them, and the uses that we make of them. Braids are used to make ropes that join objects separated in space, fibres are interwoven to form a surface cover, or they can be interwoven with harder stems to make baskets. We also use bleached palms as adornments for major celebrations… The exhibition aims to pay tribute, once more, to the work and skill of craftsmen and women and their imagination to invent tools to dominate the fibres and the professionals that have allowed countless solutions to be developed based on basic plant fragments.
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Observation and Line. Botanical drawings
  • Duration: from March 13th to June 8th, 2008.
  • Description: Joaquim Conca (Barcelona, 1943) belongs to a group of visual creators linked to the Eina School of Art and Design. His specialisations in botanical illustration and years of teaching at Eina have allowed him to base his drawing pedagogy on the direct observation of plants. Joaquim Conca drew the collection of fifty-six species of wild narcissi in the nursery and the laboratory of the IBB. These are drawings, the product of deep observation, of interaction with the model, with a firm and defined line and an oriental touch originating from his self-confessed interest in Chinese calligraphy.
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Suzanne Davit, an illustrator at the Botanical Institute
  • Duration: from May 3rd to December 31st, 2007.
  • Description: A woman, an artist and full of scientific curiosity. These are the three elements that make Suzanne Davit (1897-1973) a survivor of an era—the early and mid 20th century—in which art and science formed part of an eminently male-dominated world; in which Catalan botany tried to grow using its promoters’ willpower as an only energy source. The IBB, where the author worked from the 1940s and which still conserves 387 plates that she produced, wanted to make sure she would be remembered, this exhibition being the most evident proof.
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The hidden colours of nature
  • Duration: from May 30th to December 31st, 2007.
  • Description: Sometimes, we only notice what our senses can perceive, but, what if we were to stop and think about what lies beyond? This exhibition wants to bring us closer to a world unknown for our senses, the colours that we cannot see. There are flowers that are blue, red, pink or purple, but if we avoid our anthropocentric view, we can discover many secrets of nature related to colours, such as the dialogue between flowers and their pollinators, or intelligent constructions to trap preys. Through ultra-violet and infra-red photography techniques, we invite you to discover a new visual dimension.
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Drawing nature. Naturalistic illustrators at the University of Valencia’s Botanical Garden
  • Duration: from April 6th to July 10th, 2006.
  • Description: To celebrate the bicentenary of the new location of the University of Valencia’s Botanical Garden, scientific illustrators Carles Puche, Jordi Corbera, Amadeu Blasco, Joaquim Conca and Eduardo Saiz walked among the garden’s plants, observing those that most caught their eye to transfer them, with all detail, onto paper, with the help of paintbrushes, pens, graphite pencils and watercolours. This beautiful exhibition of 50 naturalist drawings could serve as a summary of the last two centuries of existence of the UV Botanical Garden.
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From curiosity to futurology. Three centuries of the interpretation of nature
  • Duration: from June 15th to September 26th, 2004.
  • Description: This exhibition intends to reflect on the dominant paradigms in the conception of nature over the last three centuries and how these have been reflected in the naturalist collections of Catalonia. French sociologist Edgar Morin conceives the Earth (Nature) as a motherland; others conceive it as a market. Some respect it as something sacred; others abhor it as something corrupt or a valley of tears. Conceptions and interpretations of nature change and have changed according to time and culture. Naturalist collections provide evidence of how these conceptions have changed, from the items collected to the ways of organising and ordering them. In the 21st century the only paradigm possible would seem to be sustainability and preservation of biodiversity. The possible scope and limitations inherent to such latter paradigms are considered at the end of the exhibition.
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