Saturday, 5 July 2014

Inspiring Kew

30 August 2014 – 1 February 2015
Detail from Rachel's Herbarium Plant Families Specimen painting
This forthcoming exhibition will reveal how Kew, since it's origin as a small ‘physic’ garden in 1759, has been, and continues to be, a great source of inspiration to many.

It will showcase contemporary and historic paintings, and other material from Kew’s extensive Art, Archive and Library collections, and will include a recently acquired and never previously exhibited painting of a rose produced by Princess Charlotte, daughter of George III, at Kew in 1789, together with work by one of the great masters of the golden age of botanical painting, Franz Bauer. Paintings that resulted from the Endeavour voyage of 1768 will be displayed alongside contemporary botanical illustrations by LucySmith - made during her 2001 journey from Australia to Indonesia in a replica of the Endeavour.   

Also on show will be Rachel Pedder- Smith’s astonishing Herbarium Plant Families Specimen painting, previously shown in the gallery in 2012. This painting subsequently inspired Liberty’s of London to create a fabric from it and in turn this fabric inspired fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to make a dress from her Spring/Summer 2013 collection using the Pedder Smith fabric.
Detail from Rachel's Herbarium Plant Families Specimen painting
Paintings used for Curtis’ Botanical Magazine will be shown together with works by the artist Edward Bawden, who was drawn to Kew all his life. Lastly, the exhibition will also highlight literary connections inspired by Kew. A copy of the rare first edition of Virginia Woolf’s’ Kew Gardens’ illustrated by her sister, artist Vanessa Bell and the first poem ever to mention “Kew’s Garden.” Adjacent to the art and illustration displays, Kew’s cutting edge scientific work, which has enabled the development of plant derived cosmetics and drugs will be discussed.
 Inspired by Kew - paintings that inspired the Shirley Sherwood Collection

16 August 2014 – end of January 2015 (date tbc)

Alongside Inspiring Kew there will be an exhibition from the Shirley Sherwood Collection: Inspired by Kew - paintings that inspired the Shirley Sherwood Collection. This exhibition will include paintings such as Laelia tenebrosa by Pandora Sellars; the first botanical watercolour that Dr. Sherwood bought from Kew Gardens Gallery in 1990. Dr. Sherwood's collection of botanical art is now a world famous collection, and includes nearly 900 works from over 250 artists.

Laelia tenebrosa by Pandora Sellars

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