American Society of Botanical Artists, Inc. (Bronx, NY)


  • Name:Robin Jess

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:American Society of Botanical Artists, Inc.
  • Address:2900 Southern Boulevard
    Bronx, NY 10458-5126
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:718.817.8814
  • Main fax:732.572.7454

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Mission Statement
    The American Society of Botanical Artists is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting public awareness of contemporary botanical art, to honoring its traditions, and to furthering its development.

    Vision Statement
    The vision of the ASBA is to recognize and encourage the highest standards of botanical art created by its members; to create an awareness of botanical art as a living art form with exhibitions in major museums around the globe; to acknowledge the power of botanical art to communicate the importance of plants to our world whether through conservation, science, horticulture or agriculture; to pass this art form and its techniques on to the next generation of botanical artists; and to expand the vision of botanical art while honoring its rich tradition and history.

  • Overview:
  • ASBA is a nonprofit corporation with over 1,300 members across the US and in twenty other countries. Our membership includes artists, illustrators, collectors, botanists, botanical gardens and museums. Artists range from the extremely accomplished to the beginner, and all are welcomed who have an interest in this wonderful art form. There are no criteria or vetting required to join - love of the art form is all that is necessary.

    That open membership is one of our great strengths. Another great strength is our interaction with artists from other countries, making ASBA the preeminent organization in global botanical art that is looked to for innovation and leadership. An International Congress of Botanical Art is being planned as well as a worldwide exhibition in 2018.

    ASBA fulfills its Mission and Vision in four primary ways: The Botanical Artist (a quarterly journal), Annual Conference, Exhibitions and Website (

    The Botanical Artist is a 36 page full-color journal that is mailed to each member on a quarterly basis. Each issue includes "The Science of Botanical Art" written by botanist and botanical artist Dr. Dick Rauh. Articles tell of members' adventures in creating botanical art from Borneo to Brooklyn as well as sharing techniques, information on materials and methods, and studio design. All these are meant to encourage and educate others in the organization.

    Articles on our Chapter and Artists' Circle activities (see info in history) create a network that we call "Cross-Pollination" in which ideas are shared and accomplishments acknowledged. Stories compare and contrast contemporary artists with historical artists. Recent stories include a major collector of contemporary botanical art, Isaac Sutton; the Lankester Award for Orchid Art and Science in Costa Rica won by member (and staff member) Carol Woodin; and Wendy Hollender's experience in illustrating Foraging and Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Foods Cookbook.

    ASBA's Annual Conference is held in the fall at various locations throughout the country. This allows local chapters or circles to help plan the events, makes it convenient for members to attend and develops bonds with our institutional members. Conferences have been held in cooperation with Filoli and The Huntington. Chicago Botanic Garden was a recent site and this year's conference will be at Denver Botanic Gardens. The three-day events are attended by approximately 200 members and feature hands-on workshops with the highest quality instructors. Trips to natural areas led by botanists, special presentations on topics such as paleobotany, rare and endangered plants, how to store archival art, demonstrations on stage with a camera projecting the artist's hands on a large screen are but some of the typical offerings. Also held are meetings, an awards banquet and a silent auction which benefits our Artist and Education Grant program and the publication of The Botanical Artist.

    ASBA curates an ambitious program of exhibitions designed for several purposes. All exhibitions are juried, meaning that artwork is submitted and then selected by a panel generally consisting of a distinguished botanical artist, a botanist and a representative from the host institution. ASBA's themed exhibitions have been held around the world. Losing Paradise: Endangered Species Here and Around the World traveled to Chicago Botanic Garden, The New York Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanic Garden and the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian) before finishing up at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew, London. Our Annual International is now in its 17th year and is held at the Horticultural Society of New York showcasing the best. Each exhibition is accompanied by a catalog of art with essays.

    ASBA's website is thoughtfully developed and beautifully executed. It is a place for information, education, and inspiration where visitors can view art, join the organization, pay dues, enter exhibitions, register for the conference. Members can post their artwork online in the Member Gallery, search for a teacher, hear interviews with artists, view exhibitions online. In the future, the Members Only aspect will provide special aspects such as viewing demonstrations and lectures online. The website will become more and more rich in the future, with goals to post educational guides and workshop plans that schools, botanical gardens and other institutions can download to teach botanical art.

  • History:
  • The American Society of Botanical Artists was founded in 1994, incorporated in 1995 and has over 1300 members in the US and 20 other countries.

    Contemporary botanical art is the realistic portrayal of plants and flowers, combining scientific accuracy with artistic elements. Great botanical art should have strength and impact, inviting closer examination. Upon that, it should be almost shocking in its clarity, execution of detail and beauty. Botanical illustration also must be accurate, but the aesthetics may be secondary. The primary role of an illustration is to elucidate text.

    Founder Diane Bouchier was a student of Anne-Marie Evans at The New York Botanical Garden. Anne-Marie, an influential instructor from England, asked Diane why there wasn’t an ASBA like the British Society of Botanical Artists. Diane agreed, but felt that ASBA should be open to all and based on principles of education, encouragement and elevating the awareness of the genre. Diane reached out to the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Filoli Center, Chicago Botanic Garden and NYBG, developing lists of botanical artists, many of whom became ASBA’s first members.

    ASBA’s first office was in San Francisco, then in 2000, ASBA moved to an arts building in NYC: the Salmagundi Club at 47 Fifth Ave; a small space at a good price. In 2009, ASBA launched Losing Paradise at The New York Botanical Garden. ASBA’s Executive Director Robin A. Jess, approached Jeff Downing, VP of Education at NYBG and asked if the Garden might consider providing office space for ASBA. By December of 2009, ASBA had moved to NYBG.

    1995 saw ASBA’s first Annual Meeting, held at the Hunt Institute in Pittsburgh. Dr. Robert Kiger, Director, offered to host ASBA; website, providing their webmaster for many years until ASBA’s goals necessitated an independent site. ASBA’s conference is held in Pittsburgh to coincide with Hunt’s triennial international exhibition, maintaining that relationship.

    The annual conference grew from that first small but enthusiastic meeting to a three-day event with pre- and post-conference extended workshops, bringing members from around the world. Registration is a sophisticated online system allowing about 200 people to create complex schedules of limited attendance workshops, lectures, tours and meals.

    Early on, a hand-mailed report was sporadically produced then became a black and white newsletter. Now, a full-color journal is produced quarterly with 36 pages of art, instruction, inspiring stories and reports of exhibitions, calls for entries and more. Members say that they can’t wait to get their journal and read it cover to cover.

    As ASBA grew, nine regional non-profit Chapters developed and have a formal agreement with ASBA. Artists Circles are similar, but less formalized. The groups conduct various activities.

    Annual awards for Excellence in Botanical Art, Service to ASBA and Art in the Service of Science (botanical illustration, biennial) are given. ASBA Artists and Education Grants are awarded to members annually based on application.

    ASBA has a reputation for producing high quality exhibitions with stunning art, catalogs and respected jurors and essayists ensuring an exhibition venue a successful event. Traveling exhibitions include "Losing Paradise: Endangered Plants Here and Around the World" and "Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps: Contemporary Botanical Artists Explore the Bartrams’ Legacy." The second New York Botanical Garden Triennial, which ASBA curates, is "Weird, Wild and Wonderful," and the first was "Green Currency: Plants in the Economy." Host venues use the exhibition as a catalyst for lectures, events, and the Smithsonian developed teaching guides based on Losing Paradise.

    ASBA has generous, active and dedicated volunteers. Board positions are based on location, skills to bring to ASBA governance and other criteria for a varied and balanced board. ASBA staff includes Executive Director, Director of Exhibitions, Conference and Programs Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, Registrar and Office Assistant, all of which are part time but some will become full time. The journal editor/designer and bookkeeper are consultants. For years, ASBA has had dedicated pro-bono legal and accounting counsel.

    As ASBA moves into the future with a new strategic plan, it is developing new sources of funding, and broadening its membership to include more institutions and botanists.

  • Year established:1994
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:27
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:5


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:509(a)(1)
  • Tax ID:11-3255547

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:113255547
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:2900 SOUTHERN BLVD
  • Organization City:BRONX
  • Organization State:NY
  • Organization Zip:10458-5126
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:July, 1995
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):994, 119
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Described in section 170(b)1)(a)(vi) of the Code, Other cultural or historical activities
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:December, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:December
  • NTEE Code:A400
  • Asset Amount:$378,306
  • Asset Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • Income Amount:$317,390
  • Income Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$317,390
  • Last Updated:2/25/2018 5:31:47 am

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.