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One Hundred Years of the Missouri Botanical Garden

Emanuel D. Rudolph
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden
Vol. 78, No. 1 (1991), pp. 1-18
DOI: 10.2307/2399587
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2399587
Page Count: 18
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One Hundred Years of the Missouri Botanical Garden
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Abstract

In the hundred years since the Board of Trustees of the Missouri Botanical Garden implemented the stipulations of Henry Shaw's will, which prescribed functions for his public garden and provided an appropriate endowment, six directors have guided the Garden's development. Henry Shaw's (1800-1889) vision of the Garden was based upon his British background and the European botanical garden tradition. William Trelease, the first director (from 1889 to 1912), set his highest priorities on building the herbarium and library and publishing substantial annual volumes, which he believed would make the Garden a major center for taxonomic research. George T. Moore, director for 40 years (from 1912 to 1953), moved the research into other areas of botany, applied botany, and horticulture. Keen on public display yet facing decreasing finances toward the latter part of his tenure, he began to seek private support for various programs, including a new arboretum located outside the city. The short duration of Edgar Anderson's directorship (1954-1957) was focused on Garden improvements with further attempts to raise funds and find support among garden clubs. Frits Went, the fourth director (1958-1963), saw the Garden as a potential multifaceted cultural center for St. Louis. The geodesic domed greenhouse, named the Climatron, opened in 1960 as a major implement in concentrating local and national attention on the Garden. The fifth director, David Gates (1965-1971), moved the Garden into ecological research and found support for a new research building that had been sought by Went. The current director, Peter H. Raven (1971 to the present), has moved the Garden along on various fronts. He has expanded its horticultural displays and special gardens, widened the base of public support, enhanced the research in systematic botany, and projected the role of the Garden into international efforts to understand our biosphere and protect it. Each director has guided the Missouri Botanical Garden in certain directions during the last hundred years to make it the major botanical garden that it now is.

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