The Library has more than 200,000 prints and drawings, including original works of art in various media. These range in date from the great masters of botanical illustration of the 18th century, such as G.D. Ehret, P.J. Redouté and the Bauer brothers, through to Thomas Duncanson, George Bond and Walter Hood Fitch in the 19th century. The holdings include a high proportion of the early originals prepared for Curtis's Botanical Magazine, together with the work of 20th century contributors such as Lilian Snelling, Stella Ross-Craig, Mary Grierson and Margaret Stones. Present-day artists represented include Christabel King, Ann Farrer and Pandora Sellars.
There are also many special collections including the work of Margaret Meen, Thomas Baines, William Roxburgh, Margaret Mee, Joseph Hooker's Indian sketches, the Edouard Morren collection of Bromeliad paintings, and of course the Marianne North collection which is housed in the gallery named after her in the gardens.
The library also holds an extensive collection of portraits of individuals spanning several centuries to the current day relating to all aspects of botany and horticulture, including artists.
For a description of the collections please see: Ward, M. & Flanagan, J. (2003) : Portraying plants - illustrations collections at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (pdf format 102KB) (Art Libraries Journal v.28, n.3, 22-28).
For further information about the illustrations collections please contact:
The Illustrations Curator
Library, Art & Archives
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Surrey TW9 3AE
Tel: +44 (0)20 8332 5415
Fax: +44 (0)20 8332 5430