Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art

CLOSED The world’s first public gallery dedicated to classic and contemporary botanical art. 

Pandora Sellars, Laelia tenebrosa, Shirley Sherwood Collection

In light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are sorry to inform you that this attraction is closed until further notice.

This unique collection of botanical art celebrates the beauty of nature in exquisite scientific detail – from an age before photography until the present day.  

The gallery captures the endless variety of artistic responses to plants and fungi, displaying items from Kew’s archive of 200,000 botanical images alongside the contemporary collection of Dr Shirley Sherwood.  

Since its opening in 2008 the gallery has hosted 48 exhibitions with works by many important artists such as Margaret Mee, Rory McEwen and Rebecca Louise Law, as well as paintings from Japan, Brazil, Spain, South Africa, the US and Australia. 

What's on in the galleries

Visiting the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art  

Nearest entrance

Victoria Gate. The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art is located near the Temperate House. 


Included with entry to the Gardens. 

Opening times 

We may occasionally need to close attractions for maintenance or visitor safety: check for planned closures and visitor notices before you visit. 

Useful information

We ask you to follow the recommended route through the gallery to help us protect our precious artworks.

Manual wheelchairs are welcome; unfortunately we can't accommodate mobility scooters in the gallery.

Please leave buggies in the buggy park provided.

A renaissance in botanical art 

The art of botanical illustration dates back to the 15th century, when herbals (books describing the culinary and medicinal uses of plants) were printed containing illustrations of flowers. In the 16th century, as printing techniques advanced and new plants came to Europe, wealthy individuals and botanic gardens began to commission artists to record them.  

Botanical art has since become vital for scientific records, because it can reveal more detail than a photograph.  

For more than 25 years Dr Shirley Sherwood has been collecting contemporary botanical illustrations to champion their scientific and aesthetic merit.  

Since 1990, her collection has grown into a comprehensive catalogue of over 200 artists living in 30 different countries.  

Now displayed alongside classic botanical art, Sherwood’s incredible collection charts the emergence of a new wave of botanical painting – a renaissance in scientific art.  

Discover more botanical art at Kew

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