Picturing the Prairie
The fifty-four paintings in Picturing the Prairie: A Vision of Restoration celebrates the natural beauty of the rare tallgrass prairie environments of Illinois and the remarkable legacy of conservation that sustains them.
Artist and author Philip Juras's evocative canvases are based on extensive research, travel, and time in the field with prairie conservation experts. As a result, his luminous paintings, and his descriptions of them, are rich in ecological and historical detail.
An accompanying essay by acclaimed conservationist Stephen Packard tells the story of how the tallgrass prairie ecosystem was, and is, being saved from extinction in Illinois by a series of remarkable individuals and initiatives-efforts that have inspired conservation practices well beyond the state's borders.
Picturing the Prairie invites us to get to know these restored landscapes, both within these pages and in the corresponding 2021 exhibition at the Chicago Botanic Garden. In them we can experience the magnificence of this archetypal American grassland, both in its present nature, and as it was in the past.