The Shape of Orchids: An Eternal Love Affair
Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida

The Florida Gulf Coast University Archives and Special Collections will present The Shape of Orchids: An Eternal Love Affair from August 19 – December 3, 2021. Orchids are considered to be one of the most coveted ornamental plants with their exotic, graceful, and delicate form. The orchid has, for many centuries, been a symbol of love, luxury, beauty, and strength. Several of Clyde Butcher’s large-format orchid photographs will be on display with this exhibit in the Bradshaw Library (third floor) of the Florida Gulf Coast University. The library is open Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm. Call (239) 590-7658 for more details. The Shape of Orchids will highlight rare prints dating back to the early 17th century, a collection of stamps from across the globe, and Neil Gaiman’s Black Orchid comics donated by Porecki in 2016. The exhibition will feature rare books from our permanent collection, Clyde Butcher photographs, handcrafted botanical wallpapers, local herbarium specimens, and living orchid walls on loan from the Naples Botanical Gardens. The exhibition will celebrate the Porecki Collection, named after Daniel and Mary Alice Porecki, in a new Victorian-esque narrative. Their own love affair began the moment they set eyes on each other – fueled by their mutual passion for horticulture. From the moment the Poreckis bought their first orchid, there was no turning back. Africa, Costa Rica and Jamaica are only a few of the many incredible destinations they traveled to collect new specimens. Their love of live plants encouraged a new passion: collecting orchid-related treasures from flea markets and antique stores. The Poreckis lived by their own rules – traveling, gardening, caring for family, and collecting were the staples of their incredible, orchid-fueled life together.