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Constance Spry: Gardener and Florist 1886-1960

Shane Connolly, Floral Designer and Guest Curator of the Garden Museum’s upcoming Constance Spry exhibition: 

I am thrilled to be guest curating an exhibition celebrating Constance Spry and her legacy of flowers, at the Garden Museum. It was originally due to open this month but a certain pandemic changed that plan.

But I’m thrilled that thanks to funding from the Garden Museum’s Culture Recovery Fund grant, generously given by Arts Council England, happily we are now back on track and the exhibition is scheduled to open 31 March 2021. And I want to ask for your help.

Recently discovered  image of an urn at Lancaster House designed by Spry for The Queen’s Coronation Luncheon in 1953

We are thrilled to be collaborating with the RHS Lindley Library who, very kindly, are for the first time opening their Constance Spry archive to help us tell her extraordinary story. But we are searching for memories and objects from Spry’s life, and that’s where you might be able to help:

– Do you know anyone who trained/worked with Constance Spry? (One proviso: though her school continued until 2008, Spry died in 1960, so we really want to speak with people who were there pre-1960)

– Do you know anyone who owns some of Spry’s furniture or antique urns? In her lifetime she built up an extraordinary collection of beautiful things, most of which were sold privately and at auction over the years.

– Specifically, does anyone know the whereabouts of a beautiful floral needlepoint carpet, made by Spry during the war? OR the single known portrait painted of her in 1953 by M Forestier Walker and sold at Bonhams in 2009?

– Do you know anyone who bought Spry items at the Bonhams sale of 2009?

Please contact me directly if you can help with anything. My email is shane@shaneconnolly.co.uk.

With thanks in eager anticipation!
Shane Connolly

Constance Spry (1886 – 1960) decorates the Queen’s table at Lancaster House, London, ready for the Coronation Banquet in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, 5th June 1953. (Photo by Ron Case/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Constance Spry: Gardener and Floral Decorator, in her own words

In anticipation of our Constance Spry Exhibition in March 2021, Shane Connolly will be presenting this talk looking at Spry’s approach to gardens and flowers, using her wonderful books as a starting point and with lots of images of her life and creations.

Tuesday 8 December | 6.30pm

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