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Portfolio of 7 photogravures printed a la poupée with handpainted acrylic wash and spitbite aquatint, background, letterpress labels and handstamping in a bleached stain folio
Dion based the Herbarium portfolio of seven photogravures on Henry Perrine (1797-1840), a doctor, horticulturist and diplomat, who was one of the first American naturalists to grasp the vast agricultural potential of Florida. As a pioneer in subtropical botany, Perrine tirelessly collected previously unknown flora, gathering masses of plants, roots, seeds, shoots, and herbarium specimens. In 1838, the United States Congress awarded Dr. Perrine a vast land grant in southern Florida to establish an experimental botanical station for the research of alien tropical plants introduced to United States soil. However, before the experimental station was operational, Perrine was murdered in a Seminole raid on Indian Key. During the attack, the house and compound were burned and Perrine’s invaluable herbarium and specimens were lost. Dion’s distressed portfolio of pressed marine algae specimens is in response to this tragic loss, presenting itself as the few remaining specimens salvaged from the remains of Perrine’s herbarium.