Botany on the prairies: Dr. Reginald Buller’s botanical wall charts at the University of Manitoba

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Date
2017
Authors
Fletcher, Nicole
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Abstract
This Master's thesis investigates how an English botanist, Dr. Reginald Buller, participated in the flow of New Botany practices and theories to Manitoba. I approach Buller's flow of knowledge through his use of classroom visual aids, in particular, hand-painted wall charts. Visual aids were not secondary to Buller's pedagogy but a key component to the communication of scientific knowledge. I analyze these wall charts and show how they are not only a teaching tool but have an aesthetic history and meaning of their own. Scientists and artists shared pictorial conventions when creating illustrations, due to their close observation of nature. In the particular case of Buller, he was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement which led to the creation of a unique, utilitarian pedagogical style for Buller's wall charts. These wall charts helped Buller craft engrossing lectures which spread modern botanical thought through the University of Manitoba in a province where education had previously been controlled by clergy.
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Keywords
Botany, Wall charts, Visual culture, science education, University of Manitoba
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