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Nature’s Bounty celebrated in art at Kew

— August 2015

Associated media

Gertrude Hamilton. Red and black currants, raspberries, snail and bee 2001 (Watercolour on paper)

The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, Kew Gardens

29 August 2015 – 31 January 2016

A series of vibrant and meticulously detailed paintings of fruits, vegetables and edible plants from across the world will fill The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew Gardens from 29 August 2015 until 31 January 2016. Alongside these varied works from both the Shirley Sherwood Collection and the Kew Collection will be a number of intriguingly diverse 18th- and 19th-century volumes, including a charming book dedicated purely to celebrating apples and pears.

Another of these volumes, a magnificent first edition volume from 1863 acquired by Dr Sherwood in poor condition, filled with extraordinarily vibrant chromolithographs of tropical plants and fruits, has been temporarily dismantled, with the stunning plates detached, cleaned and framed. These plates now stand alone as works of art in their own right in this latest exhibition, ‘Nature’s Bounty’.The remarkable illustrations from Fleurs, Fruits et Feuillages Chosis de la Flore et de la Pomone de L’ile de Java were drawn by Berthe Hoola Van Nooten, a botanical artist and widow, whose deceased husband left her with a mass of debts and five young children to care for. She hoped to make her fortune by illustrating this elaborate book of tropical plants. Tragically, this was not enough to prevent Berthe from dying in poverty in 1892, yet her love of nature, skill and determination lives on through this remarkable book and can be seen first-hand in this revealing and touching display.

Laura Giuffrida, Galleries and Exhibition Leader says
Delicate, tactile and tempting; this exhibition illustrates why fruit, vegetables and plants remain as a much loved subject for still life painters and botanical artists. We hope you’ll visit and enjoy the beautiful botanical art that can be viewed in our wonderful contemporary art gallery.

Royal Botanic Gardens


Open daily from 10a.m. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Closing times vary.

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