Americana Selections - "Specimen Days", Walt Whitman
Prints are offset lithographic reproductions of Susan Loy’s original watercolor.
Image Size: 15-1/2” x 15-1/2” Paper Size: 18” x 18-1/2” Frame Size: 23” x 23”
“This has been and is yet a great season for wild flowers; oceans of them line the roads through the woods, border the edges of the water-runlets, grow along the old fences, and are scatter’d in profusion over the fields. All is peace here… Here amid this wild, free scene, how healthy, how joyous, how clean and vigorous and sweet!” Walt Whitman, Specimen Days
Susan Loy pays homage to Walt Whitman and his days spent in the rural countryside while healing after the Civil War and recorded in his journal, Specimen Days & Collect. Whitman dedicates these “Specimen Days” to the birds, wildflowers, trees, herbs, reptiles, and insects that populate the countryside, and he recorded the various species of birds, trees, and perennial blossoms that he made acquaintance with in one season or another. Susan Loy combed through Whitman’s journals and selected twenty-six of these perennial blossoms, one for every letter of the alphabet, and meticulously illustrated them in a colorful wreath with a motif of orange trumpet-creeper and green juniper with blue berries; she lettered the common and botanical name of each plant and its meaning in the Victorian Language of Flowers. She also included species of bees, moths, and butterflies. A bird perches in each corner: Black-Cap Tit or Chickadee, upper right, Wood Thrush, lower right; Canada Goose, lower left, and Bush Sparrow, upper left. The central bouquet features giant white blossoms of the Great Laurel, Rhododendron maximum, and the delicate green pine needles and brown cones of Pinus Virginiana. The twenty-six botanical specimens include:
Apple Blossom, Malus coronaria: preference
Blue Liverwort, Hepatica americana: trust
All of these plants are mentioned in Whitman’s journal; for a more detailed listing of the specific plant references in Specimen Days & Collect, please visit Whitman's Specimen Details
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