Margaret Mee Fellowship Programme
Training Brazilian botanical artists
The Margaret Mee Fellowship Programme (MMFP) enables Brazilian botanical illustrators to study in the UK and, until late 2005, made a highly significant contribution to the furtherance of plant science, sustainability, biodiversity, and the conservation and preservation of the Amazon and Atlantic Rain Forests of Brazil through its research fellowships.
The Programme was inspired by Margaret Mee, the world famous botanical artist whose work has done much to draw attention to the importance of the flora of the Amazon rainforest. Sixty of Margaret Mee’s pictures, the ‘Amazon Collection’, were acquired for deposit in perpetuity at Kew, and have been exhibited at Kew, elsewhere in the United Kingdom and in the United States.
Since 1997 the Margaret Mee Amazon Trust (MMAT) and its successor, the MMFP (administered by the Foundation and Friends of the RBG Kew) have awarded 130 Fellowships for Brazilians to come to Britain to further their knowledge and research. Selection of research fellowships has, until recently, been carried out on a rolling basis by the Scientific Committee, whereas Artist Scholars are selected by the FBMM (Fundação Botânica Margaret Mee) in Brazil.
Nineteen Artist Scholarships, and 104 Fellowships to biologists, have been awarded since the programme was initiated. The research fellows have for the most part undertaken their studies in Britain at Kew. In 2005, due to funding restrictions, it was decided that no more scientific research fellowships would be awarded.
The last three Margaret Mee Artist Scholars were:
- Renato Moraes, Rio de Janeiro 2006
- Parecis Montero, São Paulo 2007
- Isabel Lima e Silva, Rio de Janeiro 2009
Artist scholarships will continue being awarded, however, until the remaining funds are exhausted, depending upon the availability of Christabel King as tutor. A competition will be held for an Artist Scholar for 2013.
A Centenary Dinner event was held during May 2009 due to the efforts of William Stancer, in the presence of HRH Prince Phillip, raising additional funding for the programme.
The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
Sir Josiah Colman Trust
Parrott Bequest Fund
Kew Foundation & Friends
The Rhoda Seymour Bequest