Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • José Antonio Suárez Londoño, artist
    born 1955
    born: Medellín, Colombia
    Harlan & Weaver, publisher
    founded 1984
    Felix Harlan, printer
    born 1951
    born: Pine Bluff, Arkansas, United States ; active: United States
    Carol Weaver, printer
    born 1955
    born: Petersburg, Virginia, United States ; active: United States
  • untitled, 2014–2015
  • n.290 The Herkimer Suite
  • Where object was made: New York, New York, United States
  • etching, watercolor
  • Paper Type: Khadi handmade white
  • Plate Mark/Block Dimensions: 150 x 150 mm
    Plate Mark/Block Dimensions: 6 x 6 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 420 x 300 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 16 1/2 x 11 13/16 in
  • Museum purchase: Letha Churchill Walker Memorial Art Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2017.0088.06
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Big Botany: Conversations with the Plant World", 27-Mar-2018
José Antonio Suárez Londoño is known as a pictorial diarist who produces “yearbooks” composed of his daily drawings. While living in an apartment on Herkimer Street in Brooklyn, Londoño worked on a project that eventually took on the name of the street. The first and smallest sheet of the resulting suite incorporates images of plants and leaves he picked up in the neighborhood, as well as animals, the head of a black man, and the motif of densely connected concentric circles that recurs in every print in the series.

Additionally, the daily drawings of The Herkimer Suite are layered with references to colonial Columbia. The first plate addresses Londoño’s inspiration for this subject matter: the 1783–1808 botanical expedition to Columbia of José Celestino Mutis, which received the patronage of the Spanish king. The “Mutis herbarium” contained more than 24,000 plant specimens that undoubtedly informed the 6,000 drawings by the Mutis team. In this suite of etchings, Londoño thoughtfully interweaves his work as a visual diarist with his biological and political-historical interests.