The Cultivar Series

Since the dawn of agriculture we have shaped and transformed a broad number of organisms towards our needs, while at the same time promoting their survival and geographic range. Through breeding and artificial selection we have developed a seemingly infinite diversity of shapes and colors from the wild ancestors of today’s domesticated plants. However, since the industrialization of agriculture, particularly since the "green revolution" of the 1960s, our focus has shifted to only a few modern, high yielding, robust, 'good looking', uniform and predictable varieties. This change has led to the displacement of traditional crop varieties. A vast majority of all varieties developed by humans have already become extinct during the last 50 years. With them we not only loose genetic diversity, but also a living cultural and culinary heritage. Without commercial utilization, the remaining varieties may only survive in seed vaults, through the work of dedicated farmers or in our own backyards and gardens. The genetic plasticity and adaptability of these plants are of critical importance for the sustainability and security of our global future food supply.
The Cultivar Series is a continuously growing collection of photographs that reveal the mind boggling diversity of agricultural cultivars.


2010 - Present | photographs

Lycopersicum III

2013 | 120cm x 240cm | edition of 5

+ view cultivar index +

Cucumis sativus I

2014 | 120cm x 240cm | edition of 5

+ view cultivar index +

Capsicum I

2016 | 120cm x 240cm | edition of 5

Phaseolus vulgaris I

2013 | 120cm x 240cm | edition of 5

+ view cultivar index +

Phaseolus vulgaris II - work in progress

Cucurbita I - work in progress

Brassica I - work in progress



Many thanks to Peaceful Belly Farm, VERN - Der Verein zur Erhaltung und Rekultivierung von Nutzpflanzen in Brandenburg e.V., the Genbank of IPK in Gatersleben, Germany, the Dutch genebank for plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in Wageningen, the Netherlands and all the individuals who have provided me with advise, cultivars and seeds for this project.

All content © Uli Westphal. Please respect the copyright.