A public garden & cultural center

Beth Galton: Les Botaniques Vivants

July 01 - December 18, 2018
Wave Hill House

Pictured above: Fingerling Sweet Potato from Union Square Greenmarket, NY, NY; Propagation period: 16 days in North-facing window, 2011, archival pigment print photograph, 22 x 26 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Beth Galton exhibits a selection of photographs from her three, ongoing series of vegetal portraits, Roots, Amour de Pomme de Terre and Organiques Momifiés. In this presentation, titled Les Botaniques Vivants, the artist investigates the passage of time as a lived process, using organic forms in various stages of decay and highlighting the importance of what’s above and below the ground to connect viewers to the natural world.  Galton’s portraits take inspiration from Irving Penn’s still life photographs of flowers that were slightly past their prime, “when they had begun spotting and browning and twisting on their way back to the earth”.  Galton patiently waits for the organic forms that she stores in her studio to change into abstract forms, indicating the propagation or decomposition periods in some of the titles. Galton thinks of these still lifes as portraits that connect the viewer to the cycles of the natural world—specifically aging, decay and mortality.

Galton is a photo-based artist with an educational background in the natural sciences and over 30 years’ experience as a professional photographer in the editorial and commercial world. She graduated from Hiram College with a BA in Studio Art. Her work has been featured in galleries throughout the US and Europe. Most recently, it has been shown at The Center for Fine Art Photography, the Center for Photographic Art and at the Beth Urdang Gallery. She has received many awards, including the Graphis Photography Gold Award, and won first place in the PDN Taste Awards, among others. Galton’s Cut Food series was featured in The Picture Professional and on BusinessInsider.com, People.com, Time.com and WashingtonPost.com. Galton lives and works in New York City.


Pictured above: Ipomoea batatas 'Murasaki' from Union Square Greenmarket, NY, NY; Decomposing period: 415 days. “Organiques Momifiés” series, 2016, archival pigment print photograph, 22x26 inches. Courtesy of the artist.


Pictured above: Cyclamen from Foliage Garden, NY,NY, 2006, archival pigment print photograph, 45 x 59 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Pictured above: Installation image courtesy of John Maggiotto.

Learn more at about the artist here.

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.