The Library, Art & Archives at Kew is home to one of the finest collections of botanical illustrations in the world. The Collection holds some 200,000 items, including original works of art in various media, amassed over the last 200 years and is perhaps the largest resource of its kind in the world. The Library also houses an important collection of portraits of botanists, members of the Royal Family and individuals with links to the Gardens. Although much of the collection is photographic, watercolour or pastel in media, the portraits in oil are an interesting document, not just of the history of Kew, but also of the history of portrait painting; particularly during the 19th century. In addition, there are fascinating oil paintings by the artist and explorer Thomas Baines, documenting his field trips to Australia and Africa.
Collection of the Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB England
020 8332 5414http://www.kew.org/library/illus.html
Please remember to double-check the opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit