This book is a celebration of the Shirley Sherwood Collection of contemporary botanical art, made over a period of 30 years by Dr Shirley Sherwood and considered the most important private collection of its kind in the world. In 2018 the 1,000th painting was added to the collection, a pocket handkerchief tree by Coral Guest. Showcasing the beauty and diversity of the collection, The Shirley Sherwood Collection features 265 botanical paintings by 144 artists from 36 countries.
The paintings are arranged in chapters by geographical origin of the artists, and each artwork is beautifully reproduced on a single page. Many of the artists are from the British Isles but there are also impressive and varied paintings from Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Australia, Russia, South Africa and the United States. The many ways used to create plant portraits are explored in watercolour, pen and ink, oils, diamond point etching on paper, vellum, glass and canvas. An additional chapter features the thousandth painting by Coral Guest, and how this was initiated and added to the collection. Biographies of all the artists featured are provided at the back of the book.
The Shirley Sherwood Collection is the most important contemporary botanical art collection in the world today, put together by a single, private individual, comprising over a thousand works (1,008) by 303 artists from 36 countries, amassed during 30 years of travel and study. The Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew is described as the focus of botanical art worldwide and has shown over 50 exhibitions since its inauguration in 2008 to well over a million visitors.
This book accompanies the exhibition of the same name showing in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew from November 2019 – March 2020.
Dr Shirley Sherwood trained as a botanist at The University of Oxford and has travelled the world, always looking for botanical artists and their work, excited by the expanding field of this old/new discipline. Since 1990 she has built one of the most important private contemporary botanical art collections in the world, comprising over 1,000 works by 303 artists from 36 countries. She was awarded a Veitch Memorial Medal by the RHS in 2004 and in 2012 received an OBE for services to botanical art. She has just accepted the BRIT International Award of Excellence in Conservation, 2019. The Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew is the first public gallery in the world dedicated to botanical art.
"[...] a book that celebrates the marriage of art with science."
– Town & Country