- Clúdach: Cover
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New Hibernia Review’s covers in our nineteenth volume will feature historical drawings held in the collections of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. A working scientific institution, the Gardens also contain the National Herbarium and several historic wrought-iron glasshouses. Founded in the 1790s, the Botanic Gardens came into state care in 1878 and since then have been administered by various government departments. The Office of Public Works (OPW) currently has responsibility for the Gardens. The Gardens are open to the public free of charge; visitors may wish to first look at the website, http://www.botanicgardens.ie/home.htm. The Gardens also maintains the only library in Ireland that specializes in botany and horticulture, totaling more than 16,000 volumes. It is from these holdings that we have selected our cover, a rendering of the orchid Bletia catenulata (native to South America), drawn by Alice Jacob (1862–1921).
Jacob was born in New Zealand to Irish parents who returned to Ireland in 1871 and settled in Dublin, where she later enrolled in the Metropolitan School of Art. She was appointed as teacher of Design and Ornament at her alma mater in 1898. In 1908, she was officially employed as a botanical illustrator at the Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. She was commissioned to illustrate orchids from the collection built up by the curator, Sir Frederick Moore. In all, she painted more than 150 orchid portraits during her time at Glasnevin. She was interested in the scientific use of the work and her paintings often show the flowers from different angles as well as dissections and enlargements of the floral parts. Jacob was a member of the Gaelic League and studied the Irish language, frequently using Celtic script to sign and date her paintings.
We thank the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, and especially librarian Alexandra Caccamo, for kind assistance in providing our cover images and in composing this note. [End Page 33]