Art at BRIT

The Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall & Upper Atrium Collections Gallery

Art at BRIT offers two distinctive art viewing spaces: the elegant Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall and the smaller, more intimate Upper Atrium Collections Gallery. The Samples Exhibit Hall showcases botanical art and artwork dealing with topics such as ecology, plants, sustainability, conservation, and the natural world – we highlight work by local and national artists, both well-known and emerging. The Upper Atrium Collections Gallery features a rotation of botanical and nature-based prints from our Library collection, including The Arader Natural History Collection of Art. We honor and celebrate the traditional roots of botanical art, while also expanding and redefining the field for the 21st century.

Program Information

Free to the public.

Point of Contact

Erin Starr White

Community Education Manager

Art at BRIT offers two distinctive art viewing spaces: the elegant Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall and the smaller, more intimate Upper Atrium Collections Gallery. The Samples Exhibit Hall showcases botanical art and artwork dealing with topics such as ecology, plants, sustainability, conservation, and the natural world – we highlight work by local and national artists, both well-known and emerging. The Upper Atrium Collections Gallery features a rotation of botanical and nature-based prints from our Library collection, including The Arader Natural History Collection of Art. We honor and celebrate the traditional roots of botanical art, while also expanding and redefining the field for the 21st century.

Current Events

Selections from the Arader Natural History Collection of Art

Upper Atrium Collections Gallery

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Visit our Upper Atrium Collections gallery and enjoy a selection of pieces drawn from the at Arader Natural History Collection of Art at BRIT. As one of the newest additions to the Library, this collection celebrates art, science, and the beauty of plants and nature. The Arader Natural History Collection is approaching 2,000 pieces and includes fine original hand-colored stipple engravings along with lithographs, and chromolithographs of flora and fauna by artists such as Mark Catesby, P.J. Redouté, John Gould, Joseph Carson, and Johnann Wilhelm Weinmann, as well as original watercolor drawings commissioned by William Roxburgh, a Scottish botanist and founding father of Indian botany.

Botany is a profoundly visual discipline, dependent on observation to identify and classify specimens. These works of art, most of which are from the Age of Exploration and Discovery (18th and early 19th centuries), help to bring this field of science in focus and alive. These artworks tell the story of the plants and animals they depict, transmitting important information about the natural world in which we live.

View the Library's online exhibition of the Arader Natural History Collection of Art

Art Outdoors

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In addition to the art on display in BRIT's two fine art exhibition spaces, there is also art located on the BRIT and Botanic Garden grounds. These sculptures engage visitors with the natural landscape, delighting and offering food for thought. Whether it is the giant stone pollen grains and minimal bench forms by Fort Worth sculptor Cam Schoepp, temporary sculptural installations by artists such as Carol Benson, or student sculpture peppered along the Pollinator Pathway, outdoor sculpture is a special part of the BRIT and Garden experience.

Viewing hours: 8 am - 5 pm

Drawing from Nature: New Work by Carol Benson

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Visit this exhibition September 14 - 18 during FWADA's Fall Gallery Week, or any weekday through the run of the exhibition. 

CLICK HERE for an interview with the artist.  

The Botanical Research Institute of Texas is proud to host an exhibition of paintings by Fort Worth-based artist Carol Benson. Titled Drawing from Nature, this exhibition is a meditation on the many ways one can draw from nature. From the fuzzy, brilliantly-colored, and highly sculptural folds of the Celosia plant (Cock's comb) to the varied leaves of the trees surrounding her home, Benson uses the geometry and beauty of plants to give viewers new ways of connecting with the natural world. While the subject matter of Benson's paintings is pulled from direct and keen observation of various plants and their flowers, her work also invites us to see the ways in which nature can sustain us. As we collectively and individually navigate this challenging moment in history, the paintings in this exhibition invite us to find new ways to incorporate the natural world into our lives, providing us with beauty, strength, and renewal. 

Carol Benson, Organic Shapes (Celosia), 2020, oil on wood, 56 x 44"

Tracing Topiaries and Finding Catesby’s Birds

Upper Atrium Collections Gallery and Library Alcove

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Topiaries have an extraordinary history and presence in gardens. Spanning centuries, with their origins in the gardens of Rome, they extend across the world through Asia, Australia, the Americas, and beyond. They have evolved and transformed through the years taking many forms that surprise and delight, becoming multi-directional accentuation points for the garden. 

Tracing Topiaries and Finding Catesby’s Birds, which runs concurrently with the Fort Worth Botanic Garden’s Topiaries in the Garden show, highlights those plants often or occasionally used for topiaries as well as birds frequently found among their foliage. A selection of pieces from the Library’s Arader Natural History Collection of Art is on view with works by Pierre Joseph Redouté, Leonhart Fuchs, William Roxburgh, and the wonderful birds of Mark Catesby. Rare books from the Library’s collection and specimens from the Herbarium are on view as well.

This exhibition is part of a collaboration between the Botanical Research Institute of Texas Library and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Topiaries in the Garden is on view October 16, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

The visit is free to the public. The exhibition is self-guided and includes the Upper Atrium Collections Gallery and the Library Alcove. Once we resume docent tours, this exhibit will be part of the Thursday BRIT docent tour and also include the Library’s main room. There is wall text for the exhibition, which is located at the very end of the Upper Atrium Collections Gallery. The exhibition includes the entire hallway of the Upper Atrium Collections Gallery as well as the Library Alcove and their adjoining hallway. There is a sign downstairs pointing people to the Upper Atrium Collections Gallery. The front desk can direct visitors as needed. Visitors can view the exhibition during the hours that BRIT is open to the public. Additional questions can be communicated to Brandy Watts at bwatts@brit.org.

Topiaries Art Gallery

Upcoming Events

The Loom Botanical

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The Loom Botanical is a special showing of new handwoven pieces by members of the Fort Worth Weavers Guild. Guild members' handwoven pieces that are not only inspired by nature, but also include many botanic elements incorporated directly into the woven textiles. The works included in the exhibition utilize plant weaving materials and the use of plant-derived dyes.

The Fort Worth Weavers Guild was organized in 1955 and promotes the interest of weaving and encourages the highest standards of craftsmanship. All facets of weaving are explored, including different weave structures on the loom, dye processes, using varied equipment, and studying contemporary and historic weavers. Woven pieces created by members are widely varied and express many functions – from practical textiles to wall art.

A Best in Show award and two additional awards will be announced upon the opening of the exhibition. Given the realities of the pandemic, it is undetermined if an opening reception will be held.

Past Events