Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two new Botanical Art Exhibitions and a new Figurative Art Prize

The new Shirley Sherwood Gallery, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
photos courtesy of RBG, Kew

This is just a quick note to alert all those interested in botanical art that two major botanical art exhibitions in London are now open.

The Society of Botanical Artists' annual exhibition - this year called 'The Botanical Palette' opened yesterday at the The Lecture Hall, Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate, London SW1. Details are below. I'll be visiting this next week - and a blog post will follow! The exhibition will remain open until Sunday 27 April 2008 (daily opening times: from 10am to 5pm including Sundays). Admission is free and all work is for sale.
The exhibition will feature some 700 selected works, embracing a wide variety of styles and technique. Wander around a diverse range of flower and plant images. Admire the work of Members and non members all eager to delight you with their skills. Enjoy the perennial favourites: watercolour, pastel and oil but also the increasingly popular coloured pencil and pencil work.

Members include many winners of prestigious awards not least of which are the Royal Horticultural Society’s Gold medals. Members’ paintings are exhibited in institutions worldwide and are held in many private collections.
Society of Botanical Art - exhibitions

Poppy Seed Head 1999
Brigid Edwards
Shirley Sherwood Collection

The new Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art opens today - 19th April 2008 - at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (see BBC news item). This is the first ever gallery anywhere in the world to be dedicated to botanical art. You can read more about it in my previous (February) post Kew Gardens - two women and two galleries for botanical art. The intention is that it will provide a space to exhibit works from two great collections
  • Kew botanical art collection of some 200,000 items
  • the private botanical art collection of Dr Shirley Sherwood which focuses on original, contemporary botanical art by over 200 artists.

Pleroma macranthum 1868
Walter Hood Fitch
RBG Kew Collection

Inaugural Exhibition: April – October 2008
The Gallery will host three exhibitions a year and the inaugural exhibition will combine some of the highlights of the two collections, providing an overview of the most significant artists from c1700 through to contemporary artists.
The reason for me wanting to speed out the door is that I'm trying to get to Kew to see the new Gallery on its opening day AND and I also want to try and attend the open Day for the Threadneedle Figurative Prize at the Mall Galleries!
Threadneedle Figurative Prize - Open Day

Come along to our Open Day at the Mall Galleries to discover more about this major new art competition.

It’s your opportunity to view the Mall Galleries’ newly modernised exhibition space, talk with the Prize Team and register for your chance to win the £25,000 Threadneedle Figurative Prize and the £10,000 FBA Selectors’ Choice.

For more information visit
Sat 19 April 2008 10:00am - 3:00pm
Plus I'm still reading the instructions for my new camera bought yesterday -wish me luck!


  1. While I have never been to Kew Gardens in reality I always enjoyed English garden architecture, parks and countryside (my partner is from London btw). So I can fully understand the attraction for botanical art and paintings. I wonder whether this is a special "characteristic" of the English culture and doubt that the interest is that big in other countries - which is actually a shame.
    Flowers are normally of interest of all gardeners and many people who do not even own a garden - why not specific botanical art I wonder? But maybe I am wrong here and it's my own assumption.
    Even photography seems to neglect this theme - at least the Internet is not really "overcrowded" with good images - to my surprise. Do you have any explanation for this I wonder? Or is it simply not "trendy" enough?

  2. I envy you the botantical exhibitions and am dying to hear all about your new camera. Have fun.

  3. I hope you will have the time and inclination to talk about these two exhibitions on your blog so that botanical artists like me in other countries can live vicariously! We have a growing interest here in the USA but lack the institutional support and other exhibition venues and patrons that Great Britain and Australia seem to enjoy. I do envy you!

  4. Petra - some of the most eminent botanical artists have been German!

    I don't think it's regarded as very trendy but it does seem to have enduring appeal to a certain number of people.

    Robyn and Elisabeth - Never fear! I'm planning two lengthy posts this week about the two exhibitions.

  5. I would love to visit Kew. We have been rewarded on our PBS station here with the BBD production of "A Year At Kew". Fantastic!


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