Presented By Mallory O’Connor

Sixty-two years before William Bartram stood at the edge of the Great Alachua Savanna and looked out on his level green plain, Mark Catesby embarked on his own journey of discovery.  The result of his efforts was 263 watercolors and drawings which, along with field notes and hundreds of preserved specimens, constituted one of the earliest and certainly one of the most comprehensive systematic studies of the flora and fauna of southeastern North America. In this lecture, the objective is to draw parallels between William Bartram and his predecessor, Mark Catesby, and to establish an historical and cultural context for understanding and appreciating their work.

O’Connor explores the connection between the fabled Fountain of Youth and the development of Florida as a land where dreams come true and people can reinvent themselves. Works of art—both traditional and popular—provide the framework for an intriguing look into the heart of Florida’s self-image.

Mallory O’Connor is a Professor Emerita of Art History at Santa Fe College. She has been involved in numerous exhibits on Florida, including: Florida Before Columbus, Opening the Door to a New World: Mark Catesby in La Florida, and The Great Alachua Savanna: A Visual History of Paynes Prairie. Currently, she is working on a book and an art exhibition focusing on the Fountain of Youth in Florida history, mythology and art.

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  • Microphone

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Mallory O’Connor