Posted: 6/5/2019 | Print Friendly Version

Date: June 5, 2019 

Contact: Missouri Botanical Garden Public Relations Dept. 

Phone: (314) 577-0286 or 314-577-0828 (media use only) 

Email: or (media use only) 

For Immediate Release 


Celebrate the Museum’s “paper anniversary” and learn about plants used to make paper around the world 

WHAT: “Leafing Through History: Plants That Make Paper” 

WHEN: June 14-October 27, 2019 

WHERE: Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., south St. Louis 

COST: Included with Garden admission, free for Garden members. 


To celebrate the first anniversary of its reopening, the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum will host a special exhibit on paper. 

“Leafing Through History” opens June 14. The exhibit will present information on the botany of the plants used in different papermaking traditions around the world, as well as a special display of sculptures by internationally-renowned origami artists.  

One of the most important—and ubiquitous—plant products is paper. Paper has made an indelible impact on human history, particularly in writing, design, art, and the spread of information through books and newspapers. "Leafing Through History” is the Museum’s first interdisciplinary exhibition, highlighting the science, history and art of paper and papermaking. 

Learn more about paper-making techniques used by different cultures to make materials for religious texts, tourism or cultural practices. Ethnobotanical displays, highlighting the connection between people and plants, will feature unique items like fig paper used in ancient Mayan traditions. Historical items, like antique writing tools and paperweights, will be tell the ever-evolving story of humanity’s use of paper.  

Specimens and reproductions from the Garden’s extensive herbarium, one of the largest in the world, will showcase 40 different plants used to make paper across the globe. Learn more about the “art of the herbarium” through a display showcasing items the Garden’s highly-trained team uses to preserve these important specimens. 

The exhibition will also feature installations by two special St. Louis artists. Megan Singleton has crafted paper for a unique art book solely from plants found at the Garden.  Michael Powell, of the Craft Alliance Center, was inspired to create paper pulp paintings that are abstract representations of several gardens at the Missouri Botanical Garden. 

The origami display features elaborate, three-dimensional pieces loaned to the Garden from artists in the St. Louis area and around the world. Ethnobotanist and origami artist James Lucas shared his artworks and his botanical research on the use of handmade papers for origami in southeast Asia. 

“Leafing Through History” will be on display through October. A visit to the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum is included with Garden admission. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

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The Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life.” Today, 160 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.