Colombia takes my firsts when it comes to biodiversity and butterflies are not excluded from an ever-expanding list that includes birds, frogs and reptiles. To celebrate the many varieties of butterflies that exist in the country, and how they have been documented by researchers and illustrators, the Luis Ángel Arango Library (BLAA) is hosting the exhibition Un Mundo de Mariposas (A World of Butterflies) with works in different artistic mediums, including watercolor, photography and engravings from the library’s rare books and art collections.
The Banco de la República’s extensive archive on an organism that plays a key role in the preservation of ecosystems is presented on 10 panels and was curated by historians Patricia Londoño Vega and Karim León Vargas. The idea to mount the exhibition is the result of three years of research by Londoño and author of A Fragile Treasure: Colombian butterflies. The panels are illustrated with details from watercolors by Catalina Londoño Carder and offer an overview of the richness of Colombia when it comes to its butterflies, explaining also the metamorphosis process, from caterpillar to chrysalid. Works have also been included from the Filatélica Collection of Medellín. Visitors will also enjoy a section that shows how butterflies have been presented in children’s books, accompanied by texts from famous naturalists, including Edith Holden (1871–1920), who documented the flora and fauna of the Victorian countryside, and global conservationist Sir David Attenborough. There is also a reference to butterflies in music, with excerpts from Madama Butterfly, the oriental opera of Giacomo Puccini accompanying by a series of plates.
The exhibition closes with “Plants to attract butterflies to your garden,” and as its title suggests an invitation to help protect this insect from extinction. A World of Butterflies is located on the second floor of the library and runs until December 2019. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive program of activities, workshops, talks and guided tours.
Un Mundo de Mariposas
Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango – Calle 11 No.4-14.