Over 250 Marianne North painting 'Adopters' celebrate the Gallery restoration

Opened in 1882, the Marianne North Gallery at Kew Gardens has been fully restored, at a cost of £3.7 million.

15 Apr 2011

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Two painting sponsors at the Marianne North Gallery

Two 'adopters' admire their newly restored Marianne North painting

To celebrate the completion and official reopening of the Marianne North Gallery, Kew Foundation held a special reception for the ‘Adopt a Painting’ supporters, with a chance to view the restored building and paintings.

Opened in 1882, the Marianne North Gallery has been fully restored, at a cost of £3.7 million. Supported by the ‘adoption’ of individual Marianne North paintings by individuals and groups, together with a £1.8 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant and additional financial support from other donors, the project involved making much needed structural repairs to the building, and restoring and conserving all of the 832 paintings.

Letters from Marianne North
Letters from Marianne North to Kew were on display, together with other paintings and photographs from the Kew collection.

Also on display during the evening was an album of Marianne North letters and also the album of paintings, photographs and ephemera, which Kew purchased a short while ago. One of the letters is from Marianne to Kew’s Director, Sir Joseph Hooker, offering her collection of paintings as well as a gallery in which to house them – the starting point of the Gallery.

Christopher Mills, Head of Library, Art and Archives at Kew, touched upon the ongoing need for material such as these letters to be properly conserved; indeed there is a whole wealth of material in the collections awaiting work.

In the Marianne North Gallery
The restored Gallery and paintings.

One of the conservators who worked on the Marianne North paintings, Eleanor Hasler, has been reemployed at Kew and has recently started on conserving the letters Kew holds from Charles Darwin and hopes in the next few months to start on the Marianne North letters.

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