A new exhibition, Natures Beloved Son, featuring the herbarium and words of pioneering conservationist John Muir, opened recently in the John Hope Gateway. The plants featured were found in herbaria across the USA and Canada and they are the actual specimens collected by Muir on his travels in America. These have been curated by Bonnie Gisel and digitally reworked by Stephen Joseph to bring them back to their pristine condition. There are also some specimens from the RBGE herbarium.
Best known for his work in establishing America’s (and the world’s) first national parks and for his writing on nature, John Muir was also a keen botanist and described plants as his first love. He carried a plant press with him everywhere on his journeys and exchanged letters and went on field trips with some of the leading botanists of his day.
Muir was born in Dunbar and spent his early years in Scotland so Natures Beloved Son is part of our Year of Homecoming programme.