André Michaux International Symposium

A Michaux Celebration
May 15-19, 2002

A series of public events honoring the life and work of André Michaux.



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.

Saturday, 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 Limoges, France.

top home gala symposium


Sponsors and Hosts

AMIS represents the culmination of more than two years of investment and commitment on the part of many individuals and organizations.

Gaston County host organizations are:

Belmont Abbey College

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Gaston Day School

Inspired by the energy, scholarship and vision of:

Charlie Williams
Michael J. Baranski, Ph.D.

Finally, AMIS gratefully acknowledges the contributions and support of these generous sponsors:

The Florence Gould Foundation
The Blumenthal Foundation
The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
The Carrie C. and Lena V. Glenn Foundation
Berlin America Company
Fidelity National Bank
Duke Power Company
Bartlett Tree Expert Company
Charlotte Area Educational Consortiun
PSNC Energy
Stanback Foundation

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available;
your inquiries are welcomed.

We gratefully acknowledge the fine work of the photographers listed below.
  • Belmont Abbey College-Haid Theater and campus sign
  • Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden-all photos of gala celebration and festival
  • Hugh Morton-C. Ritchie Bell
  • Mint Museum of Art-Redoute exhibit poster
  • Richard Mayberry-Redoute exhibit
  • Ronald L. Stuckey-opening ceremonies and speakers at the symposium
  • William R. Burk-Ronald L Stuckey at the Redoute exhibit


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Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens + Belmont Abbey College + Gaston Day School.
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