Orphaned British botanical paintings seek sugar daddies (or mommies)


Leonotis nepetaefolia and Doctor Humming Birds, Jamiaca
Marianne North (1830-1890)
Kew Royal Botanic Gardens
Sponsorship price: £1,000

832 paintings in the Marianne North Gallery at Britain's Kew Botanic Gardens are up for adoption. No, you don't get to name them or take them home - but you do get a print and other benefits.

All of these paintings are the work of Marianne North, a prolific and Victorian artist who traveled throughout the British empire documenting native flora and fauna in her own idiosyncratic style. Independently wealthy, North gave the gallery building and the collection to the Kew - in fact, she sized and arranged the works to fit precisely in the gallery space! Check out the wall-to-wall botanical paintings in this photo of the gallery from Jim Linwood's flickrstream:


The gallery is currently closed while the Kew is trying to raise 1.8 million pounds for renovation and preservation of the collection. Thus the adoption program: it's a good cause, but a tough economy. Nevertheless, several hundred of the paintings have already been adopted. If you have a few hundred pounds to spare, you can see what's left here.

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