Phipps recommends:
Cornelian Cherry Dogwood



Donald M. Robinson explores the world with a love and respect for both its wildlife and varied cultures that permeates his many photographs. He has been taking photographs for 50 years, documenting people, landscapes, animals and plant life. His photography is a testimony to the artist’s lifelong conviction that the world is essentially a beautiful place and the environment is its greatest treasure. We took a few minutes with Donald to discuss his photography and the inspiration behind this project.

How did you first become interested in photography? 

In my early childhood, I was fascinated with black and white photography. I set up a darkroom in the basement of my home and spent many hours captivated by the images. 

Where do you get the inspiration for your photos? 

Photography is one of the great joys of my life. When I plan to photograph, my day begins with barely containable excitement, and, by the end of the day, the beauty I have experienced has renewed my soul. Photography has given me another career, another chance, a real treasure in the changing fortunes of time. In my search for images, I am constantly reminded that the world still is a beautiful place. 

What are your favorite places or objects to photograph and why? 

My favorite place is Antarctica because everything is so magnificent and beautiful. The penguins, seals and other native wildlife are most cooperative and can be photographed quite easily. The landscape is surreal.

What is the most difficult part of the photographic process?

Carrying a lot of equipment and setting up a tripod to obtain a precise sharp photograph is the most difficult part. Traveling to some very difficult landscapes can also be a challenge.

Can you describe the concept of the pieces featured in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at Phipps?

All of my images featured in the CSL are from western Pennsylvania. I am constantly reminded of the natural beauty in our area. I also tried to represent our various seasons.

What impact do you hope your photographs will have on CSL visitors? 

I would like the visitors to be impressed by all of the beauty that we have here in western Pennsylvania and the beauty that they can experience at Phipps. 

Photo © Donald M. Robinson

Other Featured Exhibits & Events

Three More Nights of Winter Lights
Jan. 30, 2015; 5 – 11 p.m.
Feb. 6 and 13, 2015; 5 – 10 p.m.
Take one more walk through the dazzling light displays in our Outdoor and Children’s Discovery Gardens while our indoor spaces transform for the Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show.
Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show
Jan. 17 – March 1, 2015
Chase away the winter blues with the spectacular sight of orchid specimens arranged in beds and baskets, and see unique selections from our permanent collection of tropical bonsai.
Tropical Sundays
Sundays, Feb 1, 8, 15 and 22, 2015
Wear a tropical shirt and receive 50 percent off admission to relax under the palm trees, sway to music of Matthew Mazza and Carmen Bruno of the Tropical Sands Steel Band, and taste tropical fruit.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh
Next Meeting Feb. 5, 2015
6 p.m., with networking and refreshments at 5:30 p.m.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a Biophilia Network of creative minds meeting monthly to discuss strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion and action. Meetings are free to attend; advance RSVP is required. Join the conversation!
Tropical Forest Congo
Opens Feb. 7, 2015
The beauty of the tropics flourishes as we unveil Tropical Forest Congo, a new exhibit featuring some of Africa’s lushest landscapes. See varieties of flora never before showcased at Phipps and discover how indigenous tribes use plants to sustain and enrich their lives.
Tropical Forest Congo Opening Festival
Feb. 7, 2015
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Be among the first to see our new Tropical Forest Congo exhibit as our guest at a special opening celebration. Family-friendly activities include a storytelling performance, African-inspired food sampling, cultural crafts and a pot-a-plant station — all free with Phipps admission.
Party in the Tropics
Select Fridays
Next Party Feb. 13, 2015
7 – 11 p.m.
Ages 21+
Gather your friends and get ready to dine, drink and dance the night away at Phipps! Make our paradise your own as you indulge in sweet and savory morsels, taste unique cocktails, and dance to the beats of a live DJ in our Tropical Forest Conservatory. Entry is free with Conservatory admission.
Hothouse Happy Hours
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015
6 – 8 p.m.
Join us on Feb. 19 as we partner with the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP) to kick off Hothouse Happy Hours, a series of events for young professionals, featuring specialty cocktails, beer and wine, inspired bites and dynamic special guests.
Seed, Perennial and Seedling Swap: 2015 Garden Season Opener
Feb. 28, 2015
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main
Join Phipps and Grow Pittsburgh at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland to swap seeds and plants, learn tips and get ready for a great season of gardening. Bring seeds you saved from last year and take home an exciting selection to grow in your garden this year. Admission is free to the public.
Garden Railroad
Closes March 1, 2015
A unique twist on the traditional Garden Railroad, this year's display takes you back in time to the California Gold Rush — complete with water features, interactive buttons for children to push, and miniature living plants.