It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

2015 Arts and Archives - Scientific Record and High Calibre

Dr. Shirley Sherwood OBE by John W. Mills 

The two remaining (busy) days of our 2015 tour were spent in London.  At Royal Horticultural Society’sLindley Library Elizabeth Koper had prepared wonderful presentation for us: first in the Research Collections we saw a selection several printed rarities from the 16th and 17th centuries like Mattioli’s Kreutterbuch and Aubriet’s work, 18th century paintings (Ehret, Catesby and Dietzsch) and modern works for publication. After that we entered the RHS’s room with flat files from the floor to ceiling filled with  botanical illustration acquisitions. We could compare the contemporary illustrations with earlier ones and also the originals with the printed ones.  This was very educational; we could also see the latest botanical art purchases now included in the collections. 
After a quick lunch we headed to the Kew Gardens and were able to see Masumi Yamanaka’s Treasured Trees Exhibit at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery featuring 22 of the oldest and finest trees growing in the Kew Gardens. She has worked on this illustration project for five years, and she is planning to continue on the same topic (circa 14,000 trees from around the world grow on the grounds of Kew). We were welcomed with an informative introduction from the Shirley Sherwood Gallery Leader, Laura Giuffrida
For many in our group this was the first visit in Kew and the afternoon went very fast. Many of us were comparing Masumi’s illustrations to the actual trees in the Gardens.
On our last day we visited the Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s Galleries where the Painting Paradise: TheArt of the Garden exhibit had recently opened. The exhibit brought together more than 150 works of art from the Royal Collection to explore the garden's enduring appeal for artists from the 16th to the early 20th century.  Many of these works were previously unseen. Exhibition highlights included works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Maria Sibylla Meriam and Carl Fabergé, a colorful Victorian glass chandelier entwined with flowers, and an elaborate 18th-century Sunflower Clock.
We also saw the Royal Mews which is one of the finest working stables in existence and responsible for all road travel arrangements for The Queen and members of the Royal family. The highlight there certainly was the Gold State Coach which has been used at every coronation since George IV in 1821 and has not been taken out from the Mews since 1953.
We concluded our 2015 Arts and Archives tour with the 30th anniversary exhibit for the Society of Botanical Artists “In Pursuit of Plants” at the Westminster Gallery in the Westminster Central Hall. This exhibit included over 600 excellent pieces (no photos)
The very successful fourteen day tour including over 100 walking miles had passed extremely fast with only positive memories. We are already making plans for the 2016 tour (4.16-4.28.2016) which includes Austria and Prague (Czech Republic) with an optional 4 day stay in Oxford and London (4.12-4.16.2016).
Please see more photos from our two last days of the tour by clicking here.

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