PHS Presents Exhibit of the ‘Whimsical Art of MF Cardamone’ 

Artist explores science, history, beauty and humor in horticulture

PHILADELPHIA – The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will present an exhibition, “A New American Botanical: The Whimsical Art of MF Cardamone,” in the PHS McLean Library, 20th and Arch Streets, from May 2 to August 26.

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The artist will donate 50 percent of sales from the exhibition to the PHS City Harvest program, which creates green jobs and supports a network of urban farms and community gardeners who raise fresh produce for families in need.

After completing the horticulture program at the Barnes Foundation Arboretum School, Cardamone, of Penn Valley, started designing a native Pennsylvania wildlife habitat garden. While researching and collecting the plants for the garden, she became inspired to create her own herbarium.

Melding elements of specimen mounting and 18th and 19th century botanical illustrations with the imaginative randomness of Surrealist collage methods, Cardamone creates playful interpretations of the intersection of nature, taxonomy, and popular culture. She collects plant specimens and combines them with images and words that result in visual narratives that reveal the science, history, and beauty of her plant subjects.

Original pieces are created in small editions of 10 on 100 percent rag watercolor paper. Cardamone’s technique is a combination of different media, including collage, digital photography, archival inks, gouache, acrylics and colored pencils.

“I’m in awe of the natural world and its beauty and power to sustain and heal,” Cardamone said. “I wanted to create a body of work to advocate for nature, and to share some of the wonderful and curious things I’ve learned about plants.”


The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1827, that connects people with horticulture, and together we create beautiful, healthy and sustainable communities. PHS offers programs and events for gardeners of all levels, and works with volunteers, organizations, agencies and businesses to create and maintain vibrant green spaces. For information, visit

MEDIA CONTACTS: Alan Jaffe, PHS Director of Communications, 215.988.8833, mobile 267.968.0859, Marion McParland, PHS Communications Specialist, 215.988.8815, mobile 609.238.9599,