Visual Arts Exhibition at the NIH Celebrates Tulips and Technology
For immediate release, December 11, 2018: A series of 12 collages by renowned artist Anna Fine Foer will be displayed in an upcoming exhibition at the National Institutes of Health titled, “Tulipmania.” The exhibition will be on display from January 11, 2019 — March 1, 2019 at The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
The exhibition includes reflection and research on the financial impact of the “Tulipmania” that occurred in the 1630’s in Holland. The exhibition also explores the tulip’s ancestry back to Turkey, the ornamental history of the tulip pattern, pigmentation experimentation, and seventeenth and eighteenth century Dutch botanical illustration.
The exhibition also results from collaboration with a microbiologist, a Principal Investigator at National Institutes of Health. Partial financial support was provided by the Randall Frank Contemporary Artist Grant Program and the Giving Spirit Foundation Unicorn Barn Project.
“My collaborative partner suggested that I work with transposons, also known as genetic mutations. A few years ago, I read Michael Pollan’s book The Botany of Desire and was intrigued by the tulip chapter that described how the variegated type were the most desired at the height of the tulip trade in Holland, in the 1630’s. Centuries later, it was discovered that the varigations were the result of genetic mutations… The project visualizes the tulip genome, and other Tulipmania themes. I found a geneticist who recently sequenced the tulip genome, working for tulip breeders in Leiden, where the first tulip garden was grown. He shared the raw data with me through an instrument called MinIon (made by Oxford Nanopore.) At Oxford Nanopore’s conference in London May 2018, my collage A Code for Tulips, made of prints of the tulip genome, was reproduced on a large scale and displayed.” – Anna Fine Foer
After emmigrating to Israel, Anna worked as a textile conservator in Haifa and Tel-Aviv. She studied at the Textile Conservation Centre, Courtauld Institute in London, where she received a Post-Graduate Diploma in Textile Conservation. Later, back in the United States, Anna worked in conservation for the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C and at the same time constructed collage landscapes with sacred, political and meta-physical significance, depicting three or more dimensions on a two-dimensional plane. Her work has been exhibited at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Maryland Governor’s Mansion, the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. and elsewhere and is in the permanent collection of the Haifa Museum of Art, and the Beer-Sheva Biblical Museum.
The exhibition is an unexpected and innovative use of technique and technology.
The mission of the Clinical Center’s Fine Art Program is to pair art with medicine to promote healing in an aesthetically pleasing environment for patients, caregivers and employees. Artwork in the collection is carefully selected and placed for its healing potential and artistic quality.