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Distributed for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Shirley Sherwood Collection

Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art

This book is a celebration of the Shirley Sherwood Collection of contemporary botanical art, considered the most important private collection of its kind in the world. The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of botanical Art at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, was the first public gallery in the world dedicated to botanical art. Sherwood has traveled the world for more than thirty years, and her passion for plants has been reflected in the thousands of artworks she has collected around the globe. This book is a fitting tribute to that passion and to the incredible artists who share a love for botanical art.

Showcasing the beauty and diversity of the collection, this book 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. Beyond the British Isles, the collection boasts impressive and varied paintings from the United States, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Australia, Russia, and South Africa. In addition to showcasing works from around the world, the collection also spans the many mediums that can be used to create botanical art, including watercolor, pen and ink, oils, and diamond point etching on paper, vellum, glass, and canvas.

Sherwood’s first acquisition was of an orchid. Three decades later, in 2018, the one thousandth painting was added to the collection, a pocket handkerchief tree by Coral Guest. To mark this monumental milestone, the book features a special chapter about this painting that details how it was initiated and added to the collection.

This book accompanies the exhibition of the same name showing in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew from November 2019–March 2020.

320 pages | 285 color plates | 9 1/2 x 11

Art: British Art

Biological Sciences: Botany

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“A fitting tribute to the extraordinary legacy of this 86-year-old botanist and collector, who has spent three decades amassing more than 1,000 works of contemporary horticultural art from around the world. . . . (A) book that celebrates the marriage of art with science.”

Town & Country

"This knowledgeable and comprehensive work spans thirty years of enthusiastic collecting by Dr. Sherwood, a trained botanist. The coverage of both the media used and compositional ideas is excellent. The images are crisp and the legends clear.... This is truly a unique collection."

Association of British Botanical Artists

Table of Contents

British Isles
N America
Latin America
S Africa
How to create botanical art

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