Tim Uebergang on Margaret Stones | Ian Potter Museum of Art

Tim Uebergang on Margaret Stones

21 Oct 2020

Science meets art: The botanical drawings of Margaret Stones

Our latest Up from the Vaults talk is hosted by Tim Uebergang, Curator of Horticulture at the University’s System Garden.

In this talk, Tim delves into the fascinating life and prolific body of work of the late Australian botanical illustrator, Margaret Stones AM MBE, who is internationally recognised as one of the most important botanical artists of her time.

Born in Colac, Victoria in 1920, Stones was a master of capturing the essence of plants in art form and enjoyed an illustrious international career working as principal contributing artist to Curtis’s Botanical Magazine in London for over 30 years, contributing designs for Australian postage stamps and producing works the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

The University of Melbourne Art Collection holds a substantial number of Stones’ works, produced from the 1940s onward. Here, Tim guides us through a number these works, which speak to her great skill and accuracy. As he discusses their many scientific and artistic merits, Tim brings Stones’ works to life with wonderfully insightful and layered detail.

The System Garden was first established in 1856 by Professor Frederick McCoy – the University of Melbourne’s very first Professor of Natural Sciences. McCoy established the garden as a teaching garden for students studying botany and it remains as one of the oldest teaching gardens in Australia. It is still used for teaching today, welcoming students from a range of disciplines including botany, horticulture and visual art, as well as primary and secondary school students.

Tim Uebergang has been the Curator of Horticulture at the University of Melbourne’s botanic garden the System Garden for the past 13 years. The 168-year-old garden is one of the country’s oldest teaching and learning gardens and is currently amidst its 10-year Masterplan that was initiated in 2018.

For the last 10 years Tim’s primary focus has been education and conservation strategies in the System Garden. In conjunction with the School of Botany, the Graduate School of Education & Botanic Gardens of Australia & New Zealand Tim has been restoring the gardens principle objectives that enhance learning for student groups of all ages along with the awareness of our most threatened plant species.

Tim has a particular interest in Cycads which peaked during a scholarship to Kew Gardens and Cambridge Botanic Gardens in 2011. Since then he has travelled to Colombia, the US and South Africa and is a member of the Cycad Specialist Group that runs out of the Montgomery Botanical Centre in Florida.