Photos on Flickr

Press Resources

Media Contact: Margaret Cox,





Now on View

2014 Pittsburgh Biennial
Leopold Blaschka (1822–1939) and Rudolf Blaschka (1857–1939) Tympanidium foliosum Flamework glass Photo credit: Nathan J. Shaulis
2014 Pittsburgh Biennial
Rob Kesseler, Citrus_hystrix
Kaffir lime, longitudinal section through flower bud
. Hand coloured micrograph, 2008. From: Fruit, edible inedible, incredible. Kesseler & Stuppy. Publ. Papadakis
2014 Pittsburgh Biennial
Rob Kesseler, Scabiosa cretica
Pincushion flower seed
. Hand coloured micrograph, 2013
From: Fruit, edible inedible, incredible. Kesseler & Stuppy. Publ. Papadakis
2014 Pittsburgh Biennial
Rob Kesseler, Poaceae
Grass pollen grains on fibres of car filter
. Hand coloured micrograph
2014 Pittsburgh Biennial
Rob Kesseler, Viburnum
Stellate leaf hairs
. Hand coloured micrograph, 2008




Worlds Within

Co-presented with Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
Curated by Lugene Bruno and John Carson

Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
Sept. 23 - Nov. 12, 2017
Sept. 22, 6-8pm: Reception
Facebook Event

Hunt Botanical Institute, 5th Floor, Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon University
Sept. 22 - Dec 15, 2017
Sept. 22, 5-7pm: Reception
Facebook Event

Sept. 28, 5 - 6:30pm: Panel Discussion "The artist in the lab, the scientist in the studio"
Co-Presented by The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. Event location College of Fine Arts, Room CFA-111, Carnegie Mellon University. Rob Kesseler, Worlds Within artist, and Steve Tonsor, Director of Science and Research, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and moderator Edith Doron, Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow, Senior Manager of Carnegie Nexus, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, will discuss how the relationships between artists and scientists have evolved into research partnerships and the potential avenues for the intersections of these two disciplines in the future. This event is free and open to the public. For information contact:

About the Exhibition

Worlds Within opens our eyes to the generally unseen world of plants and their internal architecture, textures, patterns and functions. It reveals repeating patterns in nature: generic structures and forms, which recur on a macro and micro scale.

The graphic impact of historical instructive botanical wall charts and models alongside monumentalized, hand-colored micrographs of seeds and pollen by Rob Kesseler creates a remarkable visual bridge between the conventional purpose of scientific illustration as used in educational materials, and the aesthetic interpretation of scientific imagery in contemporary art.

Worlds Within is a unique collaboration between the Hunt Institute and The Miller Gallery. The two venues, at either end of the Carnegie Mellon University campus, will be exhibiting work by British artist Rob Kesseler, alongside 19th-century botanical wall charts from Carl Ignaz Leopold Kny’s series Botanische Wandtafeln. Complementing the forms represented in these charts and photographs will be a selection of models of marine organisms made of glass in the 19th-century by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka and made of glacite in the early 20th-century by Edwin H. Reiber. The glass models have been kindly loaned by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

The work in the Hunt Institute offers a more comprehensive comparison between the micrographs and the historical charts and models, while the Miller Gallery exhibition features a fuller range of Kesseler’s recent art work. Both sections of this joint exhibition celebrate the extraordinary aesthetic interrelationships between historically different methods of visually interpreting the wonders of botanical phenomena, which are not readily visible to the naked eye.

Viewers are encouraged to visit both venues to experience these stunning visual juxtapositions, in which the many complexities of representing plants are concentrated into mesmeric visual images and objects.

About the Curators

Since 1996, Curator of Art Lugene Bruno has held a position at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, where she has immersed herself in the botanical art and library collection. She is responsible for all activities of the Art Department and curates the art collection and twice-yearly exhibitions in the Institute's gallery, including the triennial International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration. She designs the exhibitions and companion catalogues; provides talks and tours related to collection items to the public and at botanical conferences; responds to research requests; and makes available for study selections of the art collection to visiting scholars, students and botanical artists. She is an honorary member of several botanical art and florilegia societies in the United States and abroad.  She is also a practicing artist working with gestural abstraction that is inspired by street markings, employing the mediums of photography and water-soluable graphite drawing. She is a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and exhibits her work regionally.

For the past 30 years, working in various media, John Carson has wittily and provocatively explored the interface between high and low culture and has sought to widen the audience for contemporary art practice. He has exhibited and performed internationally and has made works for television and radio. He is best known for performative projects such as I’d Walk from Cork to Larne to See the Forty Shades of Green (a 320 mile,14 day photographic journey) and A Bottle of Stout in Every Pub in Buncrana (a one day endurance test). From 1986 to 1991 he was Production Director of Artangel, a London-based organization presenting temporary artworks in public locations. He has been a visiting lecturer at various schools and colleges in Ireland, UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He taught at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland and at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, England, where he was Course Director of the BFA program from 1999 to 2006. He was Head of the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University from 2006 to 2016, and is currently a member of the teaching faculty.