Past Exhibits

A collage with a variety of materials and graphics
Monday, May 10, 2021 to Wednesday, June 30, 2021

In response to increased disconnection from nature experienced by many, Julia Mettler-Grove '21 wanted to invite the Smith community to help build a creative connection to the landscape. Her project, called the “smith landscape connection”, looks to spur a collective connection to nature by encouraging individuals to contribute their own doodles to a community-wide collage. Learn more about Julia and her project at:

Saturday, November 7, 2020 to Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Connecting Natural and Human Worlds through Smith’s Mum Show and the Dream of the Red Chamber

 IntroStudent Videos

Students in EAL 231: The Culture of the Lyric in Traditional China connect the natural world with human imagination through chrysanthemums, a signature flower for the autumn season in Chinese culture and literature. For their project, each student selected a poem from "Dream of the Red Chamber", composed by Cao Xueqin. Through the poem and the chrysanthemum of their choice, each student investigates how plant characteristics and growth habit contributes to multiple symbolic meanings in literary works, cultural significance, and philosophical traditions.

The Art and Science of Dyeing, image of cloth samples colored using different natural dyes
Monday, September 23, 2019 to Thursday, June 4, 2020

Explore the fascinating world of natural dyes. Hanging textiles of silk, wool, and linen showcase the beautiful range of colors possible when dyeing with plants, while accompanying interpretation explains the science behind the process.

Monday, February 11, 2019 to Friday, August 16, 2019

From the original 13 acres purchased in 1871 to the 147 acres that make up the contiguous campus today, the Smith College campus has grown and changed to respond to the needs of the times. As Smith undertakes development of a new landscape master plan, MAKING SPACE, is a timely exhibit which encourages viewers to reflect on the past and consider the future of the campus. 

Dawn redwood
Saturday, March 3, 2018 to Friday, January 25, 2019

EXTENDED! through January 25, 2019 

Extinction is a natural process and over millions of years, innumerable species and countless trees have gone extinct. However, today, human driven processes such as overexploitation, habitat loss and climate change are accelerating the rates of extinction for many species, including trees. Currently, 10% of all tree species are threatened with extinction.
Learn what's being done to help trees, and what you can do to make a difference.

lettuce growing in rows in a field
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 to Thursday, May 31, 2018

Physiology House, Lyman Conservatory

This exhibit, curated by June Ahn ’18, aims to explore the humble beginnings of what is now a ubiquitous salad green.
Although once weedy and quite bitter, the lettuce of today grows worldwide and in many different forms, including romaine, butterhead, stem, and curled. 
 June is a senior majoring in biology and minoring in landscape studies, with a focus in plants. She has worked at the Smith Botanic Garden since her sophomore year as an outdoor garden assistant, curatorial intern, and GIS liaison.

Poster announcing the Green Italian Class
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 to Thursday, May 31, 2018

Lyman Plant House

On exhibit are the final projects for Green Italian (ITL 235), an intermediate Italian conversation course taught by Bruno Grazioli and held at the Lyman Plant House. Through this class supported by the Botanic Garden’s Curricular Enhancement program, students acquire Italian vocabulary on botany and use these terms actively during class to describe plants, flowers, and the landscape. Other aims of the course are to help build students’ sense of the rich Italian biodiversity.

Students are presenting and explaining their creations at the last class meeting of the semester on Friday, May 4 at 10:00 am, Lyman Plant House. Presentations will be in Italian.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 to Thursday, May 31, 2018

Physiology House, Lyman Conservatory

This year's advanced architectural design studios (Advanced Topics in Architecture, ARS386 and ARS388) taught by Elisa Kim explore alternative relationships between buildings, culture, and the environment.

In collaboration with the Botanic Garden and through a series of interrelated projects, each student began by choosing a plant of her choice, then designing and fabricating a miniature selfsustaining eco-unit intended to support the plant’s life.

Common hollyhock
Saturday, April 1, 2017 to Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Extended through January 2018!

Botanical illustrations created by Victoria I and Lillian Nicholson portray medicinal plants identified in the excavations of Pompeii. Come explore the varied ways both ancient Romans and modern Pompeians have used these plants.

Friday, November 3, 2017 to Monday, January 29, 2018

Ruth B. Wilson ’46 majored in English literature and took as much studio art as was then allowed. Her time spent in the Botanic Garden ignited a love of plants and flowers that continues to this day. Some twenty years after her time at Smith, Ruth Wilson Sutro began studying etching. For her, the etchings presented in this display bring back the memory of those afternoons at Smith when the greenhouses were a welcome source of entertainment and wonder.