Seeding Change: The Politics of Plants

Rosetta S. Elkin, Stephanie Morningstar, Erika Rumbley, and Charles Waldheim

Thursday, September 14, 7 - 8:30 pm
Calderwood Hall

Plants provide a medium for the creative expression of individual identities, shared narratives, and collective memories, yet they are also inherently political, and never more so than in the midst of our rapidly warming climate. As changes to the climate become more volatile, how are designers, gardeners, and others who work directly with plants developing adaptive strategies to changes both environmental and social?

This conversation will convene landscape architect Rosetta S. Elkin of Pratt Institute, Stephanie Morningstar of the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, and Erika Rumbley, Gardner’s Stanley P. Kozak Director of Horticulture, in dialogue with Charles Waldheim, the Gardner’s Ruettgers Curator of Landscape and Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Together they will consider the cultural, social, and political meanings of plants, and share approaches to adaptive strategies, particularly as these relate to seed-keeping and sharing. This program is organized in connection with the current exhibition Presence of Plants in Contemporary Art.


Contemporary art projects at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are supported in part by the Barbara Lee Program Fund. 

The Artist-in-Residence program is directed by Pieranna Cavalchini, Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art. Funding is also provided for site-specific installations of new work on the Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade on Evans Way.

The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which is supported by the state of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.