Aarin Packard, curator of the Pacific Bonsai Museum in Seattle.
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During his eight years as Assistant Curator of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Aarin Packard had the opportunity not only to care for trees in the national collection, but to learn what it takes to manage a public bonsai collection. Those skills have served him well in his new position as Curator of Seattle’s [...]

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The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt By Joe Byrd Director, The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM) in Oakland, California, is one of the largest and finest collections of bonsai on the West Coast. Approximately 90 bonsai and suisuki viewing stones are on display at any given time. Bonsai lovers come [...]

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For nearly 90 years, Jess Thompson has been drawn to trees. Her favorite childhood memories are of tea parties among the roots of the washed beech trees in the small village in Scotland where she lived on the River Clyde. In her 20s, she took bonsai classes at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Today, Thompson finds joy in the [...]

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Ted Tsukiyama, who recently celebrated his 95th birthday, has long been a leader of the national and international bonsai community. During World War II, he served in the Military Intelligence Service, assigned to the U.S. 10th Army Air Force in India and Burma. He was the first person of Japanese ancestry to graduate from Yale [...]

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In 1976, when then U.S. National Arboretum Director, Dr. John Creech, learned the Arboretum would be receiving a gift of 53 bonsai from Japan, one of the people he called for advice was Chase Rosade. It was Rosade who did the demonstration for the media at the dedication of the National Bonsai & Pening Museum, [...]

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Sandra Moore first learned about the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum’s Yamaki pine years ago during a tour of the Museum. “Like many visitors, I was stunned when I heard how old the tree was, and that one family had cared for it since the 1600s,” she says. “But what really stuck with me was the image [...]

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“I’ve been living bonsai for 50 years,” says William Valavanis, who is known for founding International Bonsai magazine and organizing the biennial U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. He also is the proprietor of the International Bonsai Arboretum in Rochester, New York, where he maintains a collection of classical bonsai and offers classes, seminars and symposia. Valavanis [...]

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It doesn’t take a Michelangelo to see that the art of bonsai and the art of sculpture have many similarities. Alesha Burk can attest to that: the 24-year-old artist from Atlanta, Georgia, spent the past few months as the “First Curator’s Apprentice,” the summer internship offered by the National Bonsai Foundation in the National Bonsai [...]

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It may come as a surprise to some people to learn that National Bonsai Foundation (NBF) Director Johann Klodzen doesn’t own a single bonsai. “In the same way that you can enjoy a fine painting or sculpture without being a painter or sculptor, one can appreciate bonsai without actually collecting or creating these works of [...]

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Felix Laughlin was a young attorney in New York City working long hours when his wife Betty Gayle came home with a few bonsai. “She said I needed more balance in my life,” he recalls with a laugh. Over that first winter in their tiny Manhattan apartment with no balcony, the Laughlins kept their bonsai [...]

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