Past Exhibitions

Wonderland Express
Wonderland Express

November 28, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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Take a magical adventure to a winter wonderland of twinkling lights and holiday beauty at the Chicago Botanic Garden when we kick off the holiday season! Outside, 750,000 lights sparkle and welcome you and your family to the Garden's wonderland. Inside the Regenstein Center, a 10,000-square-foot exhibition of miniature trains winds through more than 80 miniature Chicago-area landmarks, including Navy Pier, Soldier Field, Chicago Stadium, the Chinatown Arch, the Art Institute, the South Shore Cultural Center, the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House, and much more!

Student Botanical Art Exhibition
Drawn from Nature

Annual Student Botanical Arts Exhibition

October 4 – 19, 2014

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Each autumn the Regenstein School's Annual Student Botanical Art Exhibition features outstanding student and instructor works in the Joutras Gallery, Regenstein Center. Come enjoy vibrant landscape scenes, delicate watercolors, intricate pen and ink studies, amazing pastels and much more. Select pieces are available for purchase.

Illustration: Bittersweet (Celastrus scandes)
by Ku-mie Kim

Focusing on Nature
Focusing on Nature

Student Photography Exhibition

Opening Reception
Friday, August 22, 2014, 6 – 8 p.m.
August 23 – September 28, 2014

Join us for the annual exhibition of botanical photography by students of the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden. The exhibition features outstanding works by students and instructors in our diverse offering of photography classes. Click here for more info.

Photo: Anne Belmont

Big Blooms by Paul Lange
Fifty Acres

Big Blooms and Paradisus

April 19 – June 15, 2014
Krehbiel Gallery

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Photographer Paul Lange began his Fifty Acres project in 2006.  It is an ongoing photographic exploration of one idyllic fifty-acre farm located in the Hudson Valley. The entire collection is made up of thousands of photographs devoted to this one unique place, and includes the four series: Big Blooms, Fowl Portraits, Paradisus, and Disturbed Paradise.  The Chicago Botanic Garden is proud to display images from two of these series: Big Blooms and Paradisus.  

In Big Blooms, Lange photographs each flower isolated on a stark white background and lit as a human portrait subject.  For Paradisus, a traditional landscape series, Lange is drawn to individual elements on the Hudson Valley farm.  He sees the landscape in Paradisus as equally art and nature; in changing light and seasons.

If you are interested in purchasing any of Paul Lange’s work, please contact the artist directly at 

The Hidden Beauty of Moths
The Hidden Beauty of Moths

April 19 – August 17, 2014 (exhibition down June 12 – 24)
Joutras Gallery

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With a keen eye for detail, innovative artist Joseph Scheer deftly weaves technology together with science and art. Using a high-resolution scanner, Scheer redefines how we view moths, by capturing never-before-seen subtleties and intricacies. His larger-than-life images allow the viewer to observe a world otherwise unavailable.  The show will include a variety of both rare and common moth scans that are almost unbelievable with their magnificent color palettes and highly detailed patterns. This show is not to be missed as it is a truly exceptional experience.   

Art of the Heirloom
Art of the Heirloom

Saturday, May 25, through Sunday, August 18
Joutras Gallery

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Celebrating the intersection of art and agriculture, Art of the Heirloom showcases original works commissioned by the Hudson Valley Seed Library for their annual Art/Seed Pack collection. The exhibition features works in a variety of media and styles such as oil painting, paper, collage, encaustic, colored pencil, and printmaking. Exhibiting artists range from the undiscovered to the up-and-coming to the world renowned. Each work of art becomes a unique seed pack.

Photo by Miles Lowry
Lost & Found

Remnants of Savannas Old-Growth Forests

Opens January 12, 2013
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

This exhibition presents landscape photographer Miles Lowry. Through his remarkable photographs, Lowry captures the grace and grandeur in what remains of the vast forests and savannas that once covered the eastern half of the United States. Since 2001, he has searched out and documented restored savannas and pockets of old-growth forests, focusing attention on these now-rare landscapes.


Prints by Bryan Nash Gill

January 19 - April 14, 2013
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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Woodcut is now available in the Garden Shop.

Book Signing - Bryan Nash Gill will be in the Joutras Gallery signing books from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. The Garden Shop will be set up in the Gallery so you can purchase books, notecards, and original artwork.  

This breathtaking exhibition of Bryan Nash Gill’s woodcut relief prints looks deeply into the life of 25 trees. In a remarkable ink and paper documentation, Nash captures the miracle of nature and time through every line, crack, and tree ring. The exhibition is on display in the Joutras Gallery of the Regenstein Center.

Shown at left: English Oak
Bryan Nash Gill author, Woodcut, Princeton Architectural Press, 2012

"Raspberries" illustration by Denise Walser-Kolar
Chicago's Top 12

Exhibition of Botanical Art

October 10 – 19, 2012
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Chicago's Top 12 is an exhibition of small works by members of the American Society of Botanical Artists. The exhibition will feature works by attendees at the annual conference being held at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Many leading botanical artists from around the world will showcase their artwork with a framed size of 12" x 12".

Shown at left: "Raspberries" (Rubus idaeus)
Watercolor on vellum, 5" x 7"
by Denise Walser-Kolar

PHOTO: Places for the Spirit
Places for the Spirit

Traditional African American Gardens

July 14 – September 30, 2012
9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

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The Places for the Spirit: Traditional African American Gardens exhibition is a stunning collection of fine art photographs of African American folk gardens and their creators. The Chicago Botanic Garden, in partnership with the DuSable Museum of African American History, will host a joint exhibition of these black and white images created by the award-winning photographer, Vaughn Sills.

Treewhispers Exhibition

January 14 – April 8, 2012

It seems that everyone has a tree story — climbing a tree or falling out of one, walking in a dense forest, or finding that tree that seemed to speak to you. Treewhispers is an ongoing, international collaboration "awakening our heartfelt connection to trees," involving handmade paper, art, and stories relating to trees as a symbol and resource.

Click here to view more about this exhibition.

PHOTO: Ruthduckworth Exhibit
Ruth Duckworth

Shaping Chicago

July 30 – September 25, 2011

An installation of modernist sculpture by ceramist and sculptor Ruth Duckworth. Duckworth was born Ruth Windmuller on April 10, 1919, in Hamburg, Germany. Because her father was Jewish, she was not allowed to study art under the Nazi regime, so she left her home country in 1936 to study in Britain, where she remained for her early career. In 1964, Duckworth moved to Chicago to teach at the University of Chicago. After 13 years on the faculty, she retired in 1977 to spend more time sculpting, moving her studio to a former pickle plant in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, where she worked until her death.

The exhibition's main piece, Amorphous #1, was shown at Navy Pier in 1997 and was donated to the Chicago Botanic Garden when Duckworth passed away on October 18, 2009, at age 90. Smaller pieces by Duckworth were also part of the exhibition.


A Journey in Scotland

April 24 – September 26, 2010

This exhibition provided a journey throughout Scotland via the work of more than 30 renowned landscape designers and artists. The exhibition featured more than 250 photographs as well as an accompanying film about the exhibition. Photographer Allan Pollok-Morris spent five years exploring what this small nation has done to champion the role that gardens and land art play in global arts and culture.

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Losing Paradise
Losing Paradise?

Endangered Plants Here and Around the World

January 16 – April 4, 2010

This exhibition draws attention to plant conservation issues around the world. Curated by the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), and developed in collaboration with the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and the Center for Plant Conservation, the exhibition features 44 original botanical artworks of threatened and endangered plants from the United States and around the world. The exhibition and accompanying book are the result of a three-year project undertaken by artists from the United States and around the world, all members of the ASBA.

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Shown at left: Silene regia, North America
Artist: Heeyoung Kim

In Search of Paradise

Great Gardens of the World

In Search of Paradise: Great Gardens of the World stretches visitors’ imaginations as they embark on a sensory journey of contemporary gardens from around the globe. Featured are images of the world’s great gardens from Singapore to Brazil to South Africa, captured by such preeminent garden photographers as Nicola Browne, Mick Hales and Alain Le Toquin, among others.

Support for this exhibition was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Peggy Macnamara
Peggy Macnamara

The Natural Art of Nests

This exhibition in the Joutras Gallery of the Regenstein Center featured artwork from Peggy Macnamara's book Architecture by Birds and Insects.

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Custom and Legend, A Culture in Stone

A remarkable exhibit of contemporary African stone sculpture, Chapungu: Custom and Legend, A Culture in Stone contained ninety sculptures displayed in the beautiful surroundings of the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Garfield Park Conservatory; drawn from the collection of the Chapungu Sculpture Park of Zimbabwe, Africa.

They are the work of 35 sculptors — three generations of artists — most of whom are Shona. The Shona people are the majority ethnic group in Zimbabwe and have lived in southern Africa for more than 800 years. Through the sculptures, the artists speak of their cultural traditions, religious beliefs, social concerns and everyday life. Yet they communicate the experiences and emotions common to all people.

Dan Kiley
Dan Kiley

Master Landscape Architect

Renowned for fusing classic garden elements with a vital, modern sensibility, Dan Kiley ranks as one of the most important American landscape architects of the twentieth century. In a remarkable 60-year career, he produced public and private gardens, plazas, memorials and urban landscapes that define modern landscape architecture around the world.

Mentored by the environments of his youth — Boston's urban alleyways and New Hampshire's pristine forests — Mr. Kiley rejected Beaux-Arts formulas and the Romantic traditions of Frederick Law Olmsted. Working alongside modernist architects such as Louis Kahn, Eero Saarinen, and Edward Larrabee Barnes, he developed something new: a style of landscape architecture characterized by strong, geometric forms and fluid spaces.

From the Rockefeller Institute and the Oakland Museum to the Art Institute of Chicago and our own Garden, Mr. Kiley's designs reflect his unmatched vision for shaping nature into intense experiences of order, beauty and purity of line. The Garden's exhibit is composed of enormous photomurals that celebrate Mr. Kiley's most notable landscapes as we pay tribute to one of our greatest friends.


Plants are presented as complex, living beings in this multi-media exhibition developed as a collaboration among the Chicago Botanic Garden, United States Botanic Garden and Dr. Roger Hangarter, Indiana University. Time-lapse movies show plants as they respond to their environment in movements that are too slow for the human eye to register. In addition to movies, the gallery-style presentation includes photographs and original sound compositions based on plant movement.

Visit to learn more about this remarkable traveling exhibition.