Les Botanistes au Sommet
Exhibition by the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle de Nice
in the Bibliotheque Louis Nocera in Nice, Sept-Oct 2018
29 October 2018 Visit report by Marcus Bicknell
Olivier Gerriet showed me round on a Monday which is normally closed, which was kind. The exhibition has had good reactions from visitors and quite good numbers. We met an assistant director of the library who was sad it was closing so soon but there has to be an exhibition about the end of WWI still this year.There is interest from other local museums to show the exhibition; Gerriet is coordinating that with the Parc de Mercantour. I have told him they can keep the CB items; only the pocket sketch books are of any intrinsic value, i.e. irreplaceable. Gerriet did not confirm that they would keep them.
Each botanist has an individual roll-up poster display (Clarence’s pictured right) which Susie and I saw early in the process. We contributed to and corrected CB’s text. Much of the CB material we provided is displayed in a glass-topped cabinet, image, left; 2 pocket sketch books; 2 print proof pages from Flowering Ferns; wooden box of watercolour paints and brushes; 2 landscapes reproduced on framed canvas; photo prints of CB in the mountains; 3 reports of Fitzwilliam symmetrical patterns. A copy of Flowering Ferns of their own is displayed.
The period photo (left) of the Cime Bicknell is not immediately identifiable as the same as the photo we know; it’s a wide range, of which one is Bicknell 2600m, alongside Paracuerta (2385m) and Santa Maria (2739m)... the Massif du Gelas, photo taken from le Mont Claminejas (2919m) by Victor de Cessole in 1908.
Having visited the Bodini Museum in Parma a few weeks ago I was interested in some original botanical books as early as the 17th century and an early edition of one of Linneaus’s Species Plantarum of 1799. One of the original lithograph stones, 80 mm thick, from which Barca’s book of drawings was printed is displayed alongside the print that comes from it.
The organisers’ description of the items in the exhibition are on the next pages.
We thank Olivier Gerriet and Jean-Félix Gandioli warmly for their work in favour of informing people about Clarence Bicknell and for the excellent exhibition.
You can download a copy of this article, with additional material such as the organisers' description of the contents of the exhibition here