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Captain Cook’s Voyage and Banks’ Florilegium

This exhibition features the florilegium works of naturalist and botanist Joseph Banks (1743-1820). Banks was appointed as a member of the scientific expedition onboard Captain James Cook’s HMS Endeavour. During the ship’s travels to the southern Pacific Ocean, he diligently collected and documented hundreds of plants and flowers.

Of the many plants that Banks described in writing, this exhibition brings together around 120 that were found on Pacific Ocean islands as well as in New Zealand and Australia. Also on show are a number of rare documents about Cook and the customs and folklores of the indigenous peoples who the explorers met during their voyage.

Many details — from Banks’ ambitious plant-hunting tactics to the participation of painter Sydney Parkinson (1745-1771) who worked on the original florilegium drawings — are revealed in this exhibition.