Members Area

Botanist, Botanical Artist, and Conservation Leader


June 21, 2022

The Heavy Mettle Behind the Eloise Payne Luquer Medal

Since The Garden Club of America’s inception in 1913, many of its strong leaders have shown their mettle while adapting to the times and staying true to the organization’s mission of education, conservation, and civic improvement. One such leader, Miss Eloise Payne Luquer, left a legacy as a botanist, a botanical artist, and a conservation leader. A founding member of the Bedford Garden Club (one of the founding clubs of the GCA), Luquer was honored by her club when it established and endowed a national medal in her memory in 1949.

Designed by sculptor Chester Beach, the Eloise Payne Luquer Medal is awarded to a GCA club member or non-member for special achievement in the field of botany that may include medical research, the fine arts, or education. 

Luquer became conservation chair of the GCA in 1929 and by 1936, under her leadership, the committee’s name was secured and its increasingly important work had become a pillar of the GCA. She was known for traveling extensively to visit GCA clubs to ascertain where each club’s interests and strengths lay.

Born in Brooklyn in 1862, Luquer spent most of her life in Bedford and Bedford Hills until she died in 1947. A renowned botanist and botanical artist, her watercolor and gouache paintings were featured in a 2012 exhibition at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Her work shows both deep skills as a painter as well as a passion for nature. Today, her heavy mettle legacy lives on every time the Eloise Payne Luquer Medal is awarded to a new deserving recipient. 

Image courtesy of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Image courtesy of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden


See All News