Dr Shirley Sherwood OBE, the Patron of the Association of British Botanical Artists, has been awarded the Botanical Research Institute of Texas’ 2019 International Award of Excellence in Conservation, to honour the impact that she has had on botanical art world wide. “Dr. Shirley Sherwood is a botanist by training.” says the institute.
“Nearly 30 years ago, Dr Sherwood began collecting contemporary botanical illustrations and paintings, inspired by her extensive travels.”.
The institute will present the award on Tuesday 2 October, at its Palmwood Event Center, Fort Worth, Texas. Sherwood has been described as a "driving force behind a revival of interest in botanical art". In 2008 she opened the The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art. This, the world’s first, purpose built public gallery for classic and contemporary botanical art, is within England’s Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
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 Sherwood’s contemporary collection. This includes around 1,000 artworks by 303 artists from 36 countries.
Commenting, the American Society of Botanical Artists, of whom Sherwood is an honorary director, says that the award is to “honor the impact Dr Shirley Sherwood has had on the worldwide renaissance of botanical art, connecting people with plants through art.”
“Shirley Sherwood is an inspiration to botanical artists world-wide,” said Gaynor Dickeson, president of the Association of British Botanical Artists, of which Sherwood is the founding patron. “She has generously supported us from the outset and we’re delighted that this award recognises her huge contribution to contemporary botanical art.”
Dr Shirley Sherwood is a widely known British writer, botanist and philanthropist. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen in the UK’s 2012 New Year Honours list, for services to botanical art.
Established in 1987 to serve as a plant information centre for scientists and professionals, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas is a private, non-profit organisation. It aims to support science, increase its collections, document plant diversity both regionally and globally and teach conservation science through public education.
Created in 1995, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas’ International Award of Excellence in Conservation is given to honour people and organisations that exemplify the ideals expressed in the institute’s mission: “To conserve our natural heritage by deepening our knowledge of the plant world and achieving public understanding of the value plants bring to life.”
Winners include scientists, conservationists, heads of state, philanthropists, Pulitzer Prize winners, politicians and others.
The ABBA Team