When I first read of the announced opening of the Tree Museum in Zurich, Switzerland, in Art + Auction, I was intrigued with the concept. Now that the Museum is actually open, it sounds more than enchanting. As an artist who adores trees and is for ever drawing them, a Tree Museum seems the ultimate in logic and totally civilized.
Enzo Enea, a Swiss landscape garden architect, has been saving venerable, important trees for the past seventeen years, often using bonsai techniques to ensure their safe transplantation and survival. His considerable collection of trees indigenous to the region are now displayed in the Museum, often with enclosures to enhance their presentation but also to ensure the micro climate they require. Peace and contemplation are words used about the displays. They also evoke, I am sure, a sense of time spans that are different, and differently-paced, to our human rhythms of life. I know that when I look at the massive live oaks growing along the Georgia coast, I feel humbled by their majestic span of time and space. Trees allow one to become more centered, more in tune with the natural world, more aware of the need to be good stewards of the environment.,
For artists who love drawing and painting trees, this Tree Museum will be of great interest. Nonetheless, we don't have to go to museums to marvel at trees; just look around you, where ever you are, and there will probably be a tree that can stop you in your tracks. Depicting it on paper or canvas can be a fascinating exercise in observation. It also allows one better to appreciate the amazing "engineering" of a tree that permits it to grow and stretch and flourish in beauty.