Belmont Abbey College
A Michaux Celebration opened on Wednesday, May 15 with a day-long field trip to the summit of Grandfather Mountain led by botanist C. Ritchie Bell and historian Gary Freeze. Michaux had climbed Grandfather in August 1794. There, moved by the beauty and magnificence of his surroundings, Michaux made an unforgettable call for the friendship of France and the US and the endurance of liberty.
Wednesday evening over four hundred people gathered at the Pamela Kimbrell Warlick Performing Arts Center on the campus of Gaston Day School to hear ethnobotanist and author Mark J. Plotkin. A modern-day example of the tradition of botanist-explorers exemplified by Michaux, Plotkin works with plants and native tribes in the tropical rainforests of South America.
Thursday morning the venue moved to the campus of Belmont Abbey College. Noted botanist and historian of botany James Reveal opened an academic symposium that continued throughout Thursday and all day Friday with twenty-eight presentations of scholarly studies on a variety of topics related to André Michaux, his plant discoveries, and his era.
Thursday evening the grand pavilion of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden was the site of a gala celebration of French food, music and culture. The Carolina Pro Musica provided authentic period music, while costumed re-enactors in the crowd added a visual sense of Michaux’s era. Mme. Francoise Winieska who represented Rambouillet, France at the Michaux Celebration made a series of presentations that were a highlight of the event.
After an artist’s walk and dinner at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, the celebration moved to the Mint Museum of Charlotte Friday evening to view an exhibit of the work of botanical artist Pierre J. Redoute. Early in his celebrated career Redoute illustrated the botanical books of Michaux. He went on to enduring fame as artist for the Empress Josephine. Examples of Redoute’s work, including the books he illustrated for Michaux and his enduring masterpieces The Lilies and The Roses were a popular exhibit at the Mint from March through July.
and continuing on Sunday, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden hosted the
Celebrate France! festival and provided the departure point for a series
of field trips to botanical sites in the local area that had begun Friday
afternoon. Over two thousand people of all ages toured the beautiful
outdoor gardens, enjoyed a series of presentations and sampled a variety
of foods and crafts. Pleased shoppers found merchandise from locally
made pottery in the shape of bigleaf magnolia leaves, to jewelry from
Sponsors and Hosts
AMIS represents the culmination of
more than two years of investment and commitment on the part of many
individuals and organizations.
We gratefully acknowledge the fine work of the photographers listed