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The Botanical World of Raymond Booth

This new exhibition will celebrate the forgotten genius of Raymond Booth, one of the greatest botanical artists of his generation, with many never-before-seen paintings uncovered from Booth’s studio.

Born in a suburb of Leeds in 1929, Booth spent a lifetime painting the unusual plants he grew in his numerous greenhouses, cold frames, conservatory, and modest gardens. To develop a deep understanding of the exotic plants he nurtured, Booth studied their native habitats and corresponded with plant collectors and breeders.

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Studies of a Rose © Raymond Booth Estate, Courtesy of The Fine Art Society

Passionate about nature, Booth was ahead of his time in his awareness of the damage being inflicted by humans on the natural world. He had no interest in money beyond ensuring an adequate supply of painting materials, and never visited his own exhibitions, not wishing to waste a day looking at his own work.

This exhibition is a celebration of his intense interest and study of plants; he would not paint a plant that he had not grown and observed through an entire season. This knowledge gave his work a beautiful honesty, his paintings are not flawless depictions. The curling edges of hellebore leaves beginning to brown might feature just as prominently as fleshy petals, glossy leaves and the unfurling stems of fresh new growth.

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The paintings in this exhibition are all available to purchase. The income will be shared between the Museum’s education programmes and the nature charities to which Booth bequeathed his estate: the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Woodland Trust and Plantlife International.

Please contact Christina McMahon, Development Manager at christina@gardenmuseum.org.uk with any enquiries.

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Streptocarpus and Rose © Raymond Booth Estate, Courtesy of The Fine Art Society

Image: Iris nicolai, Raymond Booth © Raymond Booth Estate, Courtesy of The Fine Art Society