Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Talks and Lectures

SACHI Annual Event: Indian Botanical Medicines in Early Modern Europe

On-site at the museum


Find out how a 12-volume treatise in Latin published in Amsterdam in the 17th-century offers a unique view into the contributions of Indian scholarship to scientific knowledge. 

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In this annual SACHI (Society for Art and Cultural Heritage of India) event, biomedical researcher Annamma Spudich shares her research into the “Hortus Indicus Malabaricus” (“The Garden of Malabar”), which documents the important legacy of Indian botanical medical traditions. A collaboration between Indian scholars, artists, and collectors and European translators, engravers, and publishers, the 12-volume treatise, richly illustrated with 794 copper plate engravings, was published in Amsterdam between 1678 and 1693. Although Indian botanicals had been highly valued, globally traded commodities since the first millennium, it was only at the end of the 15th century that Europeans entered into direct trade with India. In this presentation, Spudich shows us how the “Hortus” highlights the contributions of Indian scholarship to knowledge creation in the modern sciences and provides a unique view of East-West interactions in the early modern period.  


Annamma Spudich did her Ph.D. and postdoctoral work in molecular cell biology at Stanford University and was a biomedical researcher for two decades. For the past 20 years, she has explored how Ashtavaidya scholar physicians, who practice Ayurvedic medicine, and folk medical practitioners of Kerala, India, are continuing their traditions while coexisting with biomedicine. Her wide-reaching research has been featured in exhibitions she curated for the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University, and at the National Center for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India, where she is a visiting faculty member. 

Due to limited capacity, advance registration is recommended.

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