A Conversation with the Bolus Collection: Science, sensibility, sensuality

An exhibition in the Upper Gallery, Michaelis, curated by Nadja Daehnke.

The year 2011 saw the centenary of the world-renowned and scientifically important Bolus Herbarium, housed in the UCT Botany Department.

Harry Bolus (1834 – 1911) was an amateur botanist who devoted much of his life to finding, classifying and cataloguing the flora of the Western Cape. He pursued this passion with assistance from a number of notable persons of the period, with C Louis Leipoldt as close collaborator and apprentice. On his death in 1911, Bolus's type specimens of flora were bequeathed to the Bolus Herbarium, one of the largest herbaria in the Southern Hemisphere. Also bequeathed were a substantial library of botanical books dating back to the early 17th century, a number of botanical illustrations and other, non-botanical artworks linked to Harry Bolus. These are now all housed at UCT as collections, which have been expanded on in subsequent years.

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Arthur Hughes: The Doors of Mercy, 1905, oil on panel, 96 x 122cm