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Exploring Humboldt’s impact on WNY, art and our surroundings

by Charlotte A commemorative Vermette says that exists a paradox in the legacy of Over the course of the many

Ellis-Chamberlain tree planting was the tree planting was, “a Alexander von Humboldt. Never years that have followed Hum-

Stephen Vermette hosted scheduled later that very symbolic gesture has so much been contributed by boldt and his work, followers of
the final Humboldt presen- day and was located in
tation on Oct. 2, 2019 at what was formerly that was suggested by a one person to our understanding his life are still intrigued by how

member of the Federa- of the workings of our world, yet he was able to make and design

the Museum of Science. During known as Humboldt tion of German Ameri- today these accomplishments his many structures. With the

the presentation presented at the Park, with guest can Societies, which have mostly been forgotten.” many influences from Humboldt

Burchfield Penney Art Center speaker Andrea Wulf, enrolled the partnership In his lifetime, Humboldt that can bee seen today in the

talk, the topic of Alexander von the author of ‘The In- of the Buffalo Olmsted never openly declared a religion, streets and parks Americans tra-

Humboldt’s nature paintings was vention of Nature”, Park Conservancy.” but his generosity transcended verse, it is apparent that these

introduced. closing out the event. He also says that this fact and there are more plac- contributions have and will re-

Humboldt’s genius was es named after Humboldt than main a part of the history of

“in connecting those dots to re- any other person on the planet. WNY for many generations.

veal not just the meaning in

them, but previously unseen pat-

terns and linkages of seemingly

disparate information, referred

to by Humboldt as “chains of


Vermette first became inter-

ested in Humboldt as a geogra-

pher himself. The interest

peaked when he discovered that

Buffalo was celebrating the cen-

tennial of Humboldt’s birth.

Humboldt was born in Prus-

sia on Sept. 14, 1769. He was an

explorer and a naturalist but did

not know very much of the prac-

tices at the time of their discov-

ery. To further his education,

Humboldt attended the Universi-

ty of Göttingen and in his adult-

hood he rejected organized

religion to stand against the mis-

treatment of the natives in Amer-


On Humboldt’s influence on

society, Vermette said, “There
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