I have a serious botanical art book addiction. There's nothing nicer than getting stuck into an hour or more of browsing through what's on offer from vintage booksellers with a good collection of botanical art books.
Well nothing nicer than the book you bought turning up and being so much better than you were expecting! There's something about books produced in the past which yells "quality" and if you've got a "very good" or "as new" version then I'm in heaven.
However what's better still is the fact that botanical art book owners tend to be very nice people - and they pass on extras in their books that they don't tell you about until you get them.
Which is how I come to be the owner of some seriously archival class documents about Mary Grierson (1912-2012) (who I currently have listed on the 20th Century Botanical Artists page on the website) when I purchased a copy of her book An English Florilegium
The image at the top of the page is of the exhibition catalogues for three solo exhibitions - which probably each deserve a blog post in their own right!
They are- from left to right:
Of late I've become seriously appreciative of catalogues from exhibitions of botanical art. They tell you so much about the scope and nature of the art but also details of the artist which often never reaches formal publication in a book. For the serious student of botanical art, I'd very much recommend paying serious attention to exhibition catalogues.
You might also like to think about you and your work are recorded in solo exhibitions - for posterity and future collectors!
About Mary Grierson (1912-2012)
Mary Grierson in brief:
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Note: Spink is Spink & Son Ltd who at the time were located at 5 King Street, St James's, London SW1Y 6QS. They are now located at 69 Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 4ET. However, the gallery which sold botanical art closed just after the turn of the millennium.
Celebrating a renovated Garden Museum
Tradescants’ Orchard: A Celebration of Botanical Art will be the first exhibition in the brand new exhibition space in the renovated Garden Museum (which has been closed for a major redevelopment in the past year).
The garden at the Museum re-opens on 22nd May. However the opening date for the exhibition is still not confirmed - but will be on display at between late May and September (opening date to be finalised)
The Tradescants' Orchard is a contemporary exhibition comprising watercolours by fifty eminent botanical artists is to be staged alongside a display of ‘The Tradescants’ Orchard’, a seventeenth-century volume of sixty-six watercolours depicting fruit varieties that John Tradescant and his son might have grown in their market garden at Lambeth.
Hence, the exhibition has two parts:
The Tradescants' Orchard
The Tradescants' Orchard is a practical document that records the size, colour and texture of fruit with their ripening dates.
Strickland trained at the Edinburgh College of Art under Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, who instilled in her a dedication to composition and mastery of negative space that continues to inform her practise. Of equal influence in Strickland’s work is her passion for and fascination with the Golden Age of Dutch art, and a major inspiration for this exhibition is the seventeenth-century Tulip Book of Jacob Marrel, which she recently studied at the Rijksmuseum. Indeed, the tulip in its myriad of forms will be a key focus of the show, which will include many varieties grown by Strickland in her garden in Scotland, such as the English Florists’ Tulips beloved of fellow artist Rory McEwen, whose paintings Strickland first encountered while a student in Edinburgh.
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
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