KATHMANDU, March 25: Siddhartha Art Gallery (SAG) is holding an exhibition of the first scientific natural history collections from Nepal made by Scottish surgeon naturalist, Dr Francis Buchanan (later Hamilton) during a year in the Kathmandu Valley in 1802 to 1803.
These are excellent colored drawings of the different plant species found in Nepal, especially orchids and other succulents, made by an Indian botanical artist (sadly unnamed), whom Buchanan took along in his expeditions.
Buchanan, known as the ‘Father of Nepalese Botany’, recorded and collected over a thousand plant species, many of which were new and not described previously.
30 of the drawings are being showcased in the event, which was inaugurated by John Tucknott MBE, the British Ambassador to Nepal on March 23, Friday and produced by the Linnean Society of London and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh with the support of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Council and the Department for International Development.
These drawings include many rare plant species of Nepal and exquisite structural illustrations of them.
Mark Watson from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh mentioned that some of these drawings and recordings were worked on by Buchanan but most of these he gave to his good friend, James Edward Smith only to be placed in the archives of the Linnean Society of London ever since.
Two centuries later, botanical research is being continued by British and Nepalese scientists teaming up with Japanese and other international botanical experts working on the Flora of Nepal.
Watson says he has been working on the Flora Nepal project for about eight years and it was his dream to showcase Buchanan’s recordings and drawings.
The exhibition will go on till April1, 2012 at SAG, Babar Mahal Revisited, Babarmahal.