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Kate Furbish Collection M070

Title:
Kate Furbish collection
Creator:
Furbish, Kate, 1834-1931
ID:
M070
Date [bulk]:
Bulk, 1873-1909
Date [inclusive]:
1873- , undated
Extent:
6.0 linear feet
Language:
English
Repository:
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Abstract:
Collection primarily comprises sixteen bound volumes of Furbish's sketches and watercolors of flora, entitled "Flora of Maine."
Preferred Citation:

Kate Furbish Collection, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.

Kate Furbish (1834-1931) was born Catherine in Exeter, New Hampshire, on May 19, 1834, to Benjamin and Mary Lane Furbish. When she was barely a year of age, the family relocated to Brunswick, Maine, where she developed a passionate interest for wildflowers. Like many young women of her time, Kate pursued a genteel education, which included painting and the study of French literature; she even spent a year in Paris perfecting her painting. In 1860, however, a serious interest for science gripped Furbish after she attended a series of botany lectures in Boston by George L. Goodale, later a professor of botany at Harvard.

The bulk of Furbish's life's work--collecting, classifying, and drawing the flora of Maine--was done between 1870 and 1908. By 1880 she had earned respect among well-known naturalists, including the eminent American botanist Asa Gray. In 1894, Furbish also helped to found the Josselyn Botanical Society of Maine and she served as president in 1911. In 1908, Furbish bequeathed her collection of paintings and drawings to Bowdoin College. She died on December 6, 1931.

Kate Furbish's name gained fame in 1976 when the wild snapdragon, named the Furbish lousewort, was rediscovered after having been believed to be extinct. This discovery helped stall and eventually stop the building of the Dickey-Lincoln dam and reservoir on the St. John's River, which would have flooded 88,000 acres of northern Maine forests.

Collection primarily comprises sixteen bound volumes of Furbish's sketches and watercolors of flora, entitled "Flora of Maine." Other items in the collection are correspondence, research materials such as flora identification notes and catalogues of Maine plants, herbaria, journals, manuscripts, artifacts, artifacts, printed ephemera and images of Furbish and her botanical artwork. There are digital images, negatives, photographic transparencies, photographs, slides, and microfilm.

Personal material: Journals (1873 May 19 - 1877 Oct 2) available on microfilm; George J. Mitchell Dept. of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Me.; 1 microfilm reel.

Series Description:

16 volumes of Furbish's botanical watercolors, entitled "Flora of Maine," as well as loose sketches and watercolors of various flora, most of which are unidentified. Includes some matted artwork. The series also contains a card index to the common names of the flora depicted in the volumes.

Ranunculaceae - Cruciferae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 1

Crassulaceae - Gaprifoliaceae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 2

Violaceae - Oxalideae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 3

Geraniaceae - Leguminosae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 4

Rosaceae - Sacifragaceae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 5

Rubiaceae - Compositae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 6

Compositae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 7

Lobeliaceae - Plantaginaceae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 8

Plumbaginaceae - Labiatae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 9

Borraginaceae - Amarantaceae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 10

Polygonaceae - Urticaceae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 11

Platanaceae - Araceae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 12

Lemnaceae - Orchidaceae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 13

Amaryllidaceae

Volume-Ovsz-folio 14

Addenda

Volume-Ovsz-folio 15

Addenda

Volume-Ovsz-folio 16

Mentha canadensis, American mint, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 1

Prunus virginiana, Common chokecherry, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 2 Folder 1

Sambucus sp., Common elder, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 2 Folder 2

Veratrum viride, False hellebore, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 2 Folder 3

Smilax herbacea, Smooth carrionflower, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 2

Lactuca canadensis, Wild lettuce, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 2 Folder 4

Salix petiolaris, Meadow willow, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 3

Plantanthera hookeri, Hooker's orchid, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 2 Folder 5

[Mushroom composite #1], undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 4

[Mushroom composite #2], undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 5

Trillium cernuum, Nodding trillium, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 2 Folder 6

Salix sp., Willow, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 6

Goodyera tesselata, Checkered rattlesnake plantain, undated, Watercolor on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 7

Pogonia ophioglossoides, Rose pogonia, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 8

Cypripedium reginae, Showy lady's slipper, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 2 Folder 7

Aureolaria flava, Smooth false foxglove, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 9

Juncus greenei, Greene's rush, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 10

Sonchus oleraceus, Common sowthistle, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 11

Aralia hispida, Bristly sarsaparilla, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 12

Lysimachia maritima, Sea milkwort, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 2 Folder 8

Venus' Looking-Glass, n.d., watercolor on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 13

Aralia hispida, Bristyly sarsaparilla, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 14

[Lilium philadelphicum], Wood lily, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 15

Lilium philadelphicum, Wood lily, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 16

Unknown, n.d., watercolor on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 17

Unknown 2, n.d., watercolor on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 18

Potamogeton sp., Pondweed, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 2 Folder 9

Rosa sp, Rose, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 19

Solanum dulcamara, Bittersweet (with hop clover), undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 20

Prunella vulgaris, Heall-all; Melampyrum lineare, Cow-wheat; Oenothera sp., Evening primrose, undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 21

[Unidentified Flora Composite], undated, Watercolor, graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 22

Unknown sketch, n.d., graphite on paper

Ovsz-Box 1 Folder 23

Unidentified, 1-42

Ovsz-Box 2a

Unidentified, 43-76

Ovsz-Box 2b

Unidentified, 77-92

Ovsz-Box 2c

Unidentified, matted, 1-5

Ovsz-Box 2d

Series Description:

Consists of correspondence between Kate Furbish and Asa Gray, and President De Witt Hyde of Bowdoin College. The series also includes journals kept by Furbish, including one from her European trip, as well as a prayer book and hymnal.

Arrangement:

Correspondence and journals arranged chronologically.

General Note:

Furbish's 1873 May 19 - 1877 Oct 2 journals are also available on microfilm.

Correspondence: Asa Gray to Miss Furbish, Harvard University, Cambridge: 1882 Jun 27

Box 3 Folder 1

Correspondence: Kate Furbish to Mrs. Johnson, East Livermore, Maine: 1894 May 13

Box 3 Folder 2

Correspondence: Kate Furbish to William DeWitt Hyde, Livermore Falls, Maine: 1908 Dec 22

Box 3 Folder 3

Correspondence: Kate Furbish to William DeWitt Hyde, East Livermore, Maine, 1909 May 5 (with typescript)

Box 3 Folder 4

Photocopies of correspondence in other collections

Box 3 Folder 5

Journals: 1873 May 19 - 1877 Oct 2 (also available on microfilm)

Box 3 Folder 6

Journals: European tour, 1883 Jun 15 - 1883 Aug 15

Box 3 Folder 7

Journals: European tour, 1883 Aug 27 - 1883 Sep 25

Box 3 Folder 8

Prayer book; hymnal

Box 4 Folder 1

Series Description:

Chiefly writings by Kate Furbish, primarily collection lists and notes, as well as writings by other people, including a catalogue of Maine plants. The series also includes herbaria collected by Furbish.

Arrangement:

Arranged by material type.

Writings: "A Catalogue of Maine Plants" w/ms. notes.

Box 4 Folder 2

Writings: Collection lists [1/7].

Box 4 Folder 3

Writings: Collection lists [2/7].

Box 4 Folder 4

Writings: Collection lists [3/7].

Box 4 Folder 5

Writings: Collection lists [4/7].

Box 4 Folder 6

Writings: Collection lists [5/7].

Box 4 Folder 7

Writings: Collection lists [6/7].

Box 4 Folder 8

Writings: Collection lists [7/7].

Box 4 Folder 9

Writings: "An Evening in the Maine Woods" ms. of paper read by KF before the Portland Society of Natural History. 1883 Apr 2

Box 4 Folder 10

Writings: "General Notes - Botany."

Box 4 Folder 11

Writings: Norland-Grange lecture [photocopy; original in Pejebscot Historical Society Archives].

Box 4 Folder 12

Flora identification notes [1/2].

Box 4 Folder 13

Flora identification notes [2/2].

Box 4 Folder 14

"Botanical Maine."

Box 4 Folder 15

Notes removed from inside cover of "Botanical Maine."

Box 4 Folder 16

Miscellaneous botanical notes.

Box 4 Folder 17

"Bulletin of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick." 1898.

Box 5 Folder 1

Catalogues of Maine Plants.

Box 5 Folder 2

"Catalogue of the Phaenogamous Plants..." [3 copies].

Box 5 Folder 3

"The Grasses of Maine" by C.H. Fernald, A.M. 1885.

Box 5 Folder 4

"Outlines of the Classification of Plants" by Charles H. Clark.

Box 5 Folder 6

Robinson, Benjamin and Merritt Fernald. "Gray's New Manual of Botany." Seventh Edition.

Volume 1

Herbaria.

Ovsz-Box 6

Series Description:

Artifacts used by Furbish for her botanical artwork. Series includes a cloth apron, pen nibs, pens, and a ceramic dish for mixing watercolors.

"The Ornamental and Useful Plants of Maine" by F. Lamson Scribner, B.S.

Box 5 Folder 5

Glass jar of pen nibs

Box 8

2 pens

Box 8

Cloth apron

Box 8

Ceramic dish for mixing watercolors

Box 8

Series Description:

This series contains photographs of Furbish as well as various photographs, negatives, prints and slides of her botanical artwork. Also included are color photographic transparencies of Furbish botanical drawings and paintings that were originally produced for Tilbury House, Publishers, publisher of Kate Furbish and the Flora of Maine by Ada Graham and Frank Graham, Jr. (1995). Digital images of the photographic transparencies are included on a CD. In addition there are color slides of eight botanical paintings and acetate composite mechanicals prepared by the Stinehour Press and used in the printing of the Furbish book.

Arrangement:

Alphabetical by image type, then by subject.

Acetate composite mechanicals: Prepared by the Stinehour Press and used in the printing of Kate Furbish and the Flora of Maine by Ada Graham and Frank Graham, Jr.

Map-case (top)

Digital images: CD made in 2001 from scans of photographic transparencies created for the Furbish book authored by the Grahams and published by Tilbury House

Box Mss. CD 1

Negative of the Furbish lousewort (one 4x5 black and white negative)

Box 7 Folder 1

Black and white photographs of Kate Furbish, and her Brunswick home (exterior and interior), 1908, n.d.

Box 7 Folder 2

Black and white photographs of various Furbish botanical drawings and paintings

Box 7 Folder 3

Cabinet card group portrait of the Josselyn Botanical Society of Maine, including Kate Furbish, Farmington, 1896

Box 7 Folder 4

Prints: Notecards with images from original Furbish watercolors

Box 7 Folder 5

Color slides of eight Furbish botanical images from the Furbish book authored by the Grahams

Box 7 Folder 6

Color slides of various Furbish botanical drawings and paintings

Box 7 Folder 7

High resolution transparencies (2.5 x 3) originally produced for Tilbury House, publishers for the Furbish book authored by the Grahams

Box 7 Folder 9

Series Description:

Primarily writings and articles about Furbish, as well as clippings. The series also includes miscellaneous printed ephemera.

Arrangement:

Arranged by material type.

Articles about Kate Furbish.

Box 7 Folder 10

Reviews of books about Kate Furbish.

Box 7 Folder 11

Miscellaneous printed ephemera.

Box 7 Folder 12

Clippings.

Box 7 Folder 13

Endangered Flora Commemorative Stamps: First day of issue, 7 June 1979.

Box 7 Folder 14

Map of the Gulf of Maine, printed and matted

Ovsz-Box 6

Poster announcing the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens exhibit of Kate Furbish illustrations, 2011 Sep 20-30

Ovsz-Box 6

Tintype of Kate Furbish, n.d.

Box 7 Folder 8
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