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Madge Evers: The New Herbarium
On view through February 12, 2023
Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
Brattleboro, Vermont

Spores dusted across your cheeks like freckles have launched from the Ordovician age. A lungful of exhaust is ancient sunlight baked into Mesozoic ferns. We are sedimented with the past. And we are the flesh silhouettes of these forgotten forests and swamps. Every being was sculpted into shape by the pressures of prehistoric ecosystems.

The masterful trick of Madge Evers’ “The New Herbarium” is that by virtue of using modern materials—jack-’o-lantern mushroom spores, dogwood flowers, black pastel paper—she memorializes the absent materials: the environmental conditions that, although they cannot be pressed into paper, summoned these contemporary fungal, vegetal silhouettes into being…

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[Image: Madge Evers, “She Sells Seashells” (2019), mushroom spores on paper, 11 x 14 inches from “The New Herbarium”]