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Kew at Work Gallery

Available as Framed Prints, Photos, Wall Art and Gift Items

Choose from 327 images in our Kew at Work collection.


Featured Kew at Work 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

Featured Kew at Work Image

The arrival of the flagstaff off the Sion Vista, Kew, circa 1916

The arrival of the flagstaff off the Sion Vista, Kew: "accepting delivery", circa 1916. Gifted by the Provincial Governement of British Columbia, it was towed along the Thames by tug boat. Produced from the trunk of a Douglas Fir, it stood at approximately 91m. Its erection was delayed by World War I and it was not until October 1919 that the flagstaff was finally hoisted into place. A flagpole, (twice replaced) stood at Kew from 1861 to 2007, when the loss of a great tree was considered too high a price to pay, and it was not replaced

© RBG KEW

Featured Kew at Work Image

Amorphophallus titanum flowering, 1901

The Titan arum, Amorphophallus titanum is known as the corpse flower in its native Indonesia because of the rancid smell, described by Curtis's Botanical magazine as a mixture of rotten fish and burnt sugar, which it emits as it flowers. It caused a sensation when it first bloomed at Kew in June 1889; the odour attracted "many bluebottle flies" and visitors were greatly disturbed by the smell. The artist Matilda Smith, who recorded the first flowering endured many hours painting it and consequently felt ill. The inflorescence can grow to more than 2.5m and is surrounded by a single purple leaf. These photographs were taken over a four-day period during a later blooming in 1901

© RBG KEW