A World of Butterflies at the BLAA in Bogotá

Colombia takes my firsts when it comes to biodiversity and butterflies are not excluded from a long list of birds, frogs and reptiles. To celebrate the many varieties of butterflies that exist in the country and how they have been documented throughout the ages, the Luis Ángel Arango Library (BLAA) is hosting the exhibition Un Mundo de Mariposas (A World of Butterflies) with works of various artistic mediums, including watercolor, photography and engravings from the library’s Rare Books collection.

Given the Banco de la República’s extensive archive on the subject, and images belonging to the bank’s private art collection, A World of Butterflies is presented on 10 panels and curated by historians Patricia Londoño Vega and Karim León Vargas. The idea to mount the exhibition is culmination years of research by Londoño who authored the 2016 book A Fragile Treasure: Colombian butterflies.

The panels are illustrated with details from the watercolors of Catalina Londoño Carder and offer an overview of the richness of Colombia when it comes to its butterflies, explaining the metamorphosis process from caterpillar to crysalid and importance of this insect in protecting delicate ecosystems. Works have also been included from the Filatélica Collection in Medellín. Visitors will also enjoy a section that shows how butterflies have been presented in children’s books and accompanied by text from the naturalists Edith Holden and Sir David Attenborough. There is also a reference to Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly followed by a series of plates showing the stages of metamorphosis

The exhibition closes with the section “Plants to attract butterflies to your garden” and an invitation by the library to show which nectar-giving plants best attract butterflies so one can enjoy these magical creatures within a natural habitat.

A World of Butterflies is being exhibited on the 2nd floor of the Library and will run until December 2019. The exhibition also includes an extensive program of activities, including workshops, talks and guided tours.

Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango.

Calle 11 No.4-14. Free admission.