Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

Number 28. Stem and Seeds
  • A. Mary Kay
    born 1954
    born: London, England, United Kingdom ; active: United States
  • Number 28. Stem and Seeds, 2004–2008–2011
  • Some of the Sum
  • Where object was made: United States
  • mixed media
  • Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 56.8 x 76.2 cm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 22 3/8 x 30 in
    Mat Dimensions: 30 x 40 in
  • Museum purchase: Gift of Colette and Jeff Bangert
  • Not on display
  • 2016.0160
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Big Botany: Conversations with the Plant World", 27-Mar-2018
Artist A. Mary Kay is an intrepid collector of the material remains of the biological environments of Kansas. Plant specimens—both preserved and in decay—seed pods, bark, excavated roots, reptile and mammal skeletons, eggs, nests, snakeskins, tortoise shells, and fossils are arrayed in trays and tubs in her studio amidst her works in progress.

Mary Kay’s approach is to combine non-objective backgrounds with carefully observed and largely objective presentations of other-than-human life. In the exhibited works, she details three seedpods, a leaf skeletonized by the larvae of leaf miners, a combined image of an opened seed pod and a section view of a plant stalk, and withered Hosta leaves spotted with mold and well on their way to reentering the microbial realm of the soil.