Michaux Gala Celebration

May 16-17, 2002
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden



Click on thumbnail for larger imageAfter the conclusion of Thursday’s presentations at Belmont Abbey College, the Michaux Celebration shifted to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden for an evening of food, music and enjoying the garden. René-Serge Marty, Consul General of France for the Southern United States shown here with Andrea Moscatelli of Air France, was an early arrival. Just as André Michaux himself would have done, many guests took time to admire the garden in the cool air and soft light of early evening. Click on thumbnail for larger imageComing inside the Robert Lee Stowe Pavilion for the food and festivities, attendees were treated to a concert of 18th century music known to have been performed in Paris during Michaux’s era. Dressed in period costumes and using period instruments, the Carolina Pro Musica quickly put everyone into the spirit of Michaux’s times with a polished recital. Click on thumbnail for larger imageCostumed re-enactors among the crowd added to the 18th century spirit and some attendees also chose to wear period costume while others remained in modern attire. Click on thumbnail for larger imageMichaux Celebration Chairman Charlie Williams, left, was among those who chose 18th century costume. Jean-Pierre Riviere, right, Director of the French-American Chamber of Commerce of North Carolina, opted for modern dress.

André Michaux sent shipments of North American trees and seeds to King Louis XVI’s forest at Rambouillet where they thrived and grew to great size at maturity adding to the character and beauty of the forest and grounds. Click on thumbnail for larger imageRambouillet resident, author and photographer Françoise Winieska, represented Gérard Larcher, Mayor of Rambouillet, President of the Commission of Economic Affairs of the Senate and Senator from Yvelines, the administrative region of France where Rambouillet is located. On Senator Larcher’s behalf, Mme. Winieska made presentations to several individuals who had planned or assisted the André Michaux Celebration. Honorary Consul of France for North Carolina, Millie Dalton Cox, accepted a gift as Consul General Marty stood by. Click on thumbnail for larger imageShe had not only championed the 2002 Michaux Celebration, but had also taken a role in the 1994 events at Grandfather Mountain commemorating Michaux’s historic 1794 ascent of the mountain. That August day in 1994 will long be remembered by Michaux admirers for the ringing tribute to Michaux delivered by the late Charles Kuralt. Click on thumbnail for larger imageMike Bush, Executive Director of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden received a presentation. He had been one of the original proponents of the Michaux Celebration. He was very pleased to receive recognition from France for his efforts to remember and honor this intrepid French botanist who had traveled through the future site of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in 1795. Click on thumbnail for larger imageMike Baranski was also delighted to be recognized. Editor of Castanea, the journal of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society (SABS) and a past president of SABS, he served as Program Chairman of the André Michaux International Symposium. Not pictured are presentations to Belmont Abbey College Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean de la Motte and Michaux Celebration Chairman, Charlie Williams.

Many people from the community who could not attend the symposium presentations attended the gala celebration. Click on thumbnail for larger imageWayne and Julia Shovelin, center, take great pride in the wild bigleaf magnolias that grow in their yard. Michaux discovered the bigleaf magnolia in Gaston County in 1789 and it served as the signature species of the Michaux Celebration. Over 100 people took advantage of at least one of the four field trips to wild bigleaf magnolia sites offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Guests also included individuals who made important behind the scenes contributions. Michaux Celebration Coordinator Jeanne Miller is on the right; she managed the thousand details that made the Michaux Celebration a success. Click on thumbnail for larger imageOn the left is Martha Mayberry, Associate Curator for Prints and Drawings of the Mint Museum of Charlotte. Her husband artist Richard Mayberry is in the center. Martha Mayberry was Curator of the Mint Museum’s concurrent exhibition: “Pierre J. Redouté, A Man Passionate About Flowers.” Redouté illustrated Michaux’s scientific books as well as the books of many other scientists and soon achieved enduring fame painting flowers under the patronage of the Empress Josephine.

Click on thumbnail for larger imageOn Friday evening, after the end of the presentations at Belmont Abbey College, attendees enjoyed a dinner and an artist’s walk at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden where they boarded a bus to the Mint Museum in Charlotte for dessert and an opportunity to view the Redouté exhibit. A portrait of the artist welcomed visitors to the long, narrow gallery. Click on thumbnail for larger imageThe walls were hung with his framed individual paintings while Click on thumbnail for larger imagehorizontal display cases held books and an array of tools used to make stipple engravings. A large folio edition of Redoute’s book The Lilies in this display case sits open underneath Redoute originals painted on vellum.

Ohio State University botanist Ronald L. Stuckey, was drawn to the Michaux books on display.Click on thumbnail for larger image An 1803 edition of André Michaux’s Flora of North America and an 1817 edition of his son Francois André Michaux’s North American Sylva were open in a display case at the entrance to the exhibit. The Sylva was open to the Redouté illustration of the bigleaf magnolia and Francois André Michaux’s description of the discovery of this species as he and his father made their way through what is now Gaston County, NC in June of 1789.

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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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