This Week's Podcast: A Decade of Museum Masterpieces Live On in the Drawings by Abbie Zabar
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Abbie Zabar is an acclaimed artist, graphic and garden designer and the author/illustrator of five books. She is probably best known for her classic, The Potted Herb, with personal and valuable advice and her enchanting drawings.
Few of us knew about making things like herb topiary before The Potted Herb was published. Today, a tree-form myrtle and a host of fragrant plants in decorative pots are a popular aspect of our favorite passion.
Abbie’s artwork has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Parrish Museum on Long Island, the Louvre and is part of the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh, and the Smithsonian Institute. She recently designed a new orchid pot for the container company, Seibert & Rice. (Lenore Rice was a guest on this show.)
Abbie is a prominent member of the Manhattan chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society in New York where she gardens in containers on a rooftop.
We talk about Abbie’s seminal book, roof garden challenges and her drawings made over a ten-year period at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Every Saturday morning before the museum opens, Abbie goes to sketch one of the five giant classical flower arrangements created the previous Monday. The floral masterpieces are funded by a bequest of Lila Acheson Wallace, the late founder of Reader’s Digest magazine.
When we recorded our interview, Abbie’s drawings were in an exhibit at Wave Hill the public garden and cultural center in The Bronx, NY. Her one-woman show runs through October 4, 2015.