Inside the Collection

A Mallee for National Tree Day 2013

Botanical Illustration of Eucalyptus incrassata

National Tree Day  is a community tree planting event held at the end July.  Schools Tree Day is today,  26th July 2013 and it seemed like a good excuse to feature another of Agard Hagman’s paintings from 1888.

This painting illustrates Eucalyptus incrassata a mallee species. Mallees are generally smaller than the better known Eucalypts or Gum Trees and have multiple stems rather than a single trunk. They tend to grow in low rainfall areas of Australia. This painting is titled ‘Oil’ indicating the Museum’s assessment of the potential use of this species.

In the 1880s, the then Curator of the Museum, Joseph Maiden (later Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens) employed William Bauerlen, a German botanist. His task was seek out and collect examples of plants with economic potential. Bauerlen travelled the length and breath of New South Wales. He ventured to many remote and difficult locations in his quest, usually alone and on foot. Over a period of almost 20 years he was responsible for bringing many thousands of samples and specimens into the museum.

Eucalyptus incrassata only grows naturally in the far South/West of New South Wales so it is likely that this painting was done from a specimen sent to the Museum by Bauerlen.

Post by Lynne McNairn, Digital Services

Reference: Yesterday’s tomorrows: the Powerhouse Museum and its precursors 1880-2005 by Graeme Davison and Kimberley Webber (eds)


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