Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art

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

Pandora Sellars, Laelia tenebrosa, Shirley Sherwood Collection

The gallery will be closed from 8 April to 3 May 2024 to install a new exhibition. Opening and closing times may vary: please check planned closures for more information. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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 almost 60 exhibitions with works by many important artists such as Margaret Mee, Rory McEwen, Rebecca Louise Law and Chihuly, as well as paintings from Japan, Brazil, Spain, South Africa, the US and Australia.

What's on at the gallery

  • Thumbnail image
    Close up of AI-enhanced natural image collage

    Mat Collishaw: Petrichor

    20 October 2023 to 7 April 2024
  • Thumbnail image
    Colourful illustration of green and yellow gingko biloba leaves and ripe nuts
    Exhibitions | Included with entry

    Young Botanical Artist competition

    20 October 2023 to 7 April 2024

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 

Daily, 10am* to 5pm

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

*The Shirley Sherwood Gallery will open later at 12pm on the first Monday of every month for maintenance.


We want everyone to have an enjoyable time at Kew, so we aim to provide accessibility support across the Gardens.

The Shirley Sherwood Gallery has a ramp to enter the gallery and is fully accessible by wheelchair. Electric wheelchairs are also permitted, although size limitations may apply. 

Given the layout of the installations within the current exhibition, we are unable to accommodate mobility scooters or buggies.  We are happy to provide a wheelchair for those wishing to visit who may have come in a mobility scooter. 

Useful information

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

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 30 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 1,000 paintings and drawings by more than 300 artists living in 36 countries around the world.  

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

Did you know?