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History Gallery

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Choose from 365 images in our History collection.


John Wilfred Sutch Featured History Image

John Wilfred Sutch

John Wilfred Sutch, born 8 November 1923, worked as a gardener in the T-Range, Palm House and Arboretum. At the age of 18 he left Kew to join the army, joining the 1st Northants Yeomanry as a tank driver. He served in Normandy in the summer of 1944 and was killed during the battle for Falaise Gap. The Journal of the Kew Guild described him as knowledgable, conscientious and as displaying considerable promise

© RBG KEW

Stella Ross Craig, botanical artist Featured History Image

Stella Ross Craig, botanical artist

Stella Ross-Craig, born in 1906, received an early induction into plant life from her father, a botanist, who taught his young daughter to identify wild flowers. At 18 she enrolled in Thanet Art School and attended evening classes in botany. In 1929 she began contributing to Curtis's Botanical magazine and went on to submit more than 300 illustrations over the next 50 years. Her virtuosity for working in black and white is most effectively displayed in what is probably her most exceptional work "Drawings of British Plants". Produced between 1948 and 1973 it includes all native species excluding grasses and sedges, comprising 1316 plates in 31 parts

© RBG KEW

Matilda Smith, botanical artist Featured History Image

Matilda Smith, botanical artist

Matilda Smith, Joseph Hooker's second cousin, began training as a botanical artist in 1877, at the age of 23, and remained in Kew's employ for 45 years, producing more than 2300 drawings for Curtis Botanical Magazine. She became the Civil Service's first payrolled botanical artist. In 1916 she became president of the Kew Guild and in 1921 was accepted as an associate of the Linnean Society, only the second woman to receive this honour. Hooker's second cousin, began training as a botanical artist in 1877, at the age of 23, and remained in Kew's employ for 45 years, producing more than 2300 drawings for Curtis Botanical Magazine. She became the Civil Service's first payrolled botanical artist. In 1916 she became president of the Kew Guild and in 1921 was accepted as an associate of the Linnean Society, only the second woman to receive this honour

© RBG KEW