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Education & Programs
Downtown Sarasota Campus

Lecture Series

Our lectures offer insights from thought leaders from around the globe.

Selby Gardens is committed to sharing its unique plant collections, botanical and archaeological research, and exhibition programs with the public. Our virtual Botanical and Historical Briefings lecture series is offered monthly fall to spring featuring presentations on topics including plants and conservation; regional history; and exhibitions and education.

Click here to view past virtual programs. 


Past Virtual Lectures


Historical Briefing: The Palmer Family’s Love of Tiffany

Wednesday, April 19

Astonishing Aerial Acts poster

Decades before she discovered Sarasota, Bertha Palmer was known for her Gilded Age jewels, purchased from the shops of Tiffany and Company in New York, London, and Paris. In the 1920s, Bertha’s sons commissioned Louis Comfort Tiffany to adorn the lobby of the Palmer House Hotel with magnificent gilt bronze sculptures, delighting guests from around the world. In celebration of Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature, John McCarthy, our vice president for regional history, explored the connections between the Tiffany and Palmer families.

See the recording of this virtual lecture here.


Botanical Briefing: “The Glass Designs of Tiffany Studios: Artistry Inspired by Nature”

Wednesday, June 21, noon – 1 p.m.

Astonishing Aerial Acts poster

Presented by Marissa Hershon, Curator of Ca’ d’Zan and Decorative Arts at The Ringling, this Botanical Briefing celebrated the glass designs of Tiffany Studios as seen in Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature. Marissa also presented on the extravagant original setting of a Tiffany Studios window commissioned for Pembroke, a Gilded Age mansion on Long Island with extensive gardens.


About Marissa:

Marissa Hershon has worked in art museums for over twenty years, specializing in the history of decorative arts since graduate school at the Corcoran College of Art + Design/The Smithsonian. She deepened her expertise in glass when researching and writing about the Chrysler Museum of Art’s encyclopedic glass collection for their Masterworks catalog while also learning glassmaking techniques at the Chrysler’s glass studio. Since joining The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in 2019, Marissa has overseen Ca’ d’Zan and the decorative arts collection, including curating rotations of the contemporary studio glass collection in the Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion.

This lecture will be uploaded to our YouTube page shortly!