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A MODERN-DAY MASTER The South Florida Museum is located in Bradenton. Photo by Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons SOUTH FLORIDA MUSEUM OFFERS A 'VISUAL BANQUET' IN AN EXHIBIT OF WORKS INSPIRED BY THE BARTRAMS, INCLUDING PAINTINGS BY OLIVIA BRAIDA By Barbara Dondero Special to the News Leader Would studying a cacao plant bring you closer to the Divine? By taking giddy delight in sea grape leaves, are you aware of the mystery in all of creation? celebrating the legacy of John and William Bartram. Father and son, they were America's foremost 18th century naturalists, collecting seeds and plants from the New World. If you think "yes" or even "maybe," you are in for a visual banquet when you visit the current show at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. Following in the Bartrams' Footsteps features 43 contemporary artworks Thanks to John's friendship with Benjamin Franklin, American plants were popularized in Britain and Europe. Today Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia is the oldest surviving botanical garden in North America.

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