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Sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), 2002, Alan Heilman

Through the Lens: Botanical Photography of Alan S. Heilman

Through the Lens explores the art and science of sixty-plus years of botanical photography by retired University of Tennessee botanist Alan S. Heilman through a selection of over fifty photographs.

The collection includes images from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the University of Tennessee Gardens on the Agriculture Campus. Images include leaves, buds, flowers, fruits, mosses, lichens, stems, and bark.

Many of the award-winning images highlight Heilman’s fascination with color, texture, and form. Others focus on illustrating the structure and anatomy of plants, an interest of Heilman during his lifelong career as student and educator. Regardless, all of his beautiful photographs represent Heilman’s unique ability to merge creative and scientific discovery in his art.

More of Alan S. Heilman’s photographs can be found at the University of Tennessee Library’s website. 


Curated by Dr. Gary Crites, McClung Museum Curator of Paleoethnobotany. Organized in collaboration with the UT Gardens and UT Libraries.

Through the Lens is presented by First Tennessee Foundation, UT Federal Credit Union, and Thompson Photo Products.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.