Travels of William Bartram – Reconsidered will examine the history and culture of 18th century American naturalists, John (1699-1777) and his son William Bartram (1739-1823). Using their travel journals, drawings, and maps, Dion plans to retrace the exploratory journeys of the Bartrams, in particular, William’s expedition to northern Florida. Often Dion and his companion “explorers” will travel in the same ways the Bartrams did: by horseback, boat, and on foot.
Once on the road, Dion will collect specimens and man-made artifacts found in the landscape, which has clearly changed a great deal since the Bartrams’ travels 200 years ago. In keeping with Dion’s longstanding interest in “mail art,” he will send his findings back to Bartram’s Garden. The artifacts and specimens will be installed in souvenir cabinets that Dion will be designed and built for the exhibit in John Bartram’s historic house.