Other people will be writing about the amazing business career of James Sherwood who passed away peacefully last night.
I want instead to pay tribute to the man who supported his wife, Shirley Sherwood in her interest in and passion for botanical art - and who, with his family's support, gave us the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art.
Without the support of James Sherwood, we might not have had:
I learned of his passing on the Facebook Page dedicated to the Shirley Sherwood Collection.
We're so sad to say that Shirley's husband James B. Sherwood passed away peacefully last night. He'd been in hospital for the past few months after a major operation and we hoped he'd pull through but it was all just too much of a fight, even for someone as mighty as Jim.
James Blair Sherwood was an American who was based in Britain. He was
Jim understood the passion of the true collector. He liked to collect classic trains and luxury hotels while Shirley preferred collecting botanical art.
However, many of the stories I have heard Shirley tell of how she found an artist or acquired a painting arose because of her travels with Jim to different parts of the world while he collected more hotels and oversaw those already in the portfolio. He went about his business while she found about the botanical artists in the area and met them and saw their art.
I'm very sure the Orient-Express Hotels company he founded and developed was one of the main reasons why the Shirley Sherwood Collection of Botanical Art is now a truly great international art collection which includes so much art (1000+ artworks) from over 300 botanical artists from 36 countries around the world.
This is a family legacy - it was a joint effort.
James Sherwood was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1933 and grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. He studied at Yale University and earned a degree in economics in 1955, before starting his career in marine transport, trains and hotels and founding and running two major businesses. He has also been
The exhibit of contemporary botanical art from Latin America can be seen in Gallery 2 within Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. The exhibition continues until 15 March 2020.
It covers botanical art by contemporary botanical artists past and present working in Brazil and Mexico . You can read more about the artists in my earlier blog post Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art #2: North and Latin American Artists. They include Margaret Mee, who was born in England but did most of her work while living in Brazil.
BELOW you can see
Three paintings using pencil and gouache by Margaret Mee occupy one wall. They demonstrate the variation in the paintings she produced. Her work is in included in the section due her dedication to painting the plants in the Amazon rainforest basin. Her work also stimulated the Margaret Mee Fellowship Programme at Kew.
Her paintings in the exhibition are:
The Australasian exhibit within Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art is the first one you come to as you go through the double doors from the reception area of the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. into Gallery 1.
It covers contemporary botanical art by both Australian and New Zealand artists past and present. You can read more about the artists in my earlier blog post Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art #6: Australasian Artists
Below you can see photos of the paintings in the exhibition - with names of the plants, credits for the artists and explanations of and/or any stories I know about the plants and/or artists!
Australia and New Zealand have strong artists traditions with flourishing art and conservation societies. We had a botanical exhibition here... of a Florilegium of contemporary plant portraits demo Sydney's three botanical gardens, as well as two smaller 'Down Under' shows with paintings by Australian and New Zealand.
The first paintings you see on your left as you walk through the door contain some stunners.
The next three paintings speak Australia to me.
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