News & Media

Historic Set of Botanical Prints Donated to TJSL

Published: September 19, 2012
Temple of Flora
Facilities Director Dennis Sable Hangs a Print

A set of beautiful and historically significant botanical prints arrived at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and are now on display on the third floor.

There are 32 plates in the collection, titled The Temple of Flora.  They are the creation of British medical doctor and plant illustrator Robert John Thornton and first published in 1799.

The plates, all of them beautifully framed and mounted reproductions, are a gift to the law school courtesy of Dean Rudy Hasl and Julie Hasl, his wife.

“The inclusion of the Temple of Flora prints as a part of the School’s art collection is particularly appropriate because Robert John Thornton was a contemporary of Thomas Jefferson and some of the new world specimens that are the subject of the collection are part of the plantings on the 5th and 8th floor terraces,” said Dean Hasl. “Julie and I are very pleased to make these prints available to the law school community. “

The Temple of Flora collection is more than two centuries old, but is still highly regarded and prized for its uniqueness.  The species Thornton illustrated were very new and exotic to English eyes in 1799, including New World plants like the Bird of Paradise.

“Thornton`s large-format plates, with their allegorical depictions and stunning floral portraits, number among supreme achievements of botanical illustration. Thornton engaged the most renowned flower painters of his age and spared no cost in the creation of this unique work,”  according to one online description.

The plates were framed by the San Diego art dealer Artrageous!, owned by Rob and Barbara Markoff.

John Ford of Artrageous!, who delivered the plates to TJSL after mounting them, says he is very impressed with the prints.

“I have spent a lot of time looking at them,” Ford said. “Every time I look at them, I see something different in each one.”

The Hasls are hoping that everyone has the same experience as Ford as they enjoy this fascinating collection, which is on permanent display in the third-floor corridor that leads from the eastern side of the lobby to the IT helpdesk.

“They’re gorgeous,” said Crystal Salumbides 3L when she saw the prints. “They look just beautiful.”

“Very, very nice,” said Jonathan DeLeon 3L as he checked out the new artwork.  “The new pictures look great on what used to be just bare walls.”

“Gorgeous! Definitely brightens up the place,” said Janmari Hueso 2L. “It makes you feel like you are outside.”