Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

Kernza® (intermediate wheatgrass), Thinopyrum intermedium
  • Jim Richardson
  • Kernza® (intermediate wheatgrass), Thinopyrum intermedium, 2009
  • Where object was made: United States
  • inkjet print
  • Object Height/Width: 180 x 36 in
  • Loaned by the artist
  • Not on display
  • EL2018.003
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Big Botany: Conversations with the Plant World", 27-Mar-2018
While working at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, agroecologist and soil scientist Jerry D. Glover perfected a method of gathering and preserving the exceptionally long roots of perennial prairie grasses. Glover buried 12-inch-wide tubes in the ground into which he inserted 10-inch-wide tubes filled with a special growing medium. Grasses grown in these tubes can later be removed and separated from the growing medium, producing specimens with roots up to 10 feet long.

Glover brought a sample specimen to National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson. To photograph the specimen, they placed it on a long sheet of Plexiglas and took a series of photographs, roughly 12” by 18” each, while sliding the specimen under the camera. The resulting detailed photographs were then digitally stitched together.