Journal Article

The Trower collection

Stephen A. Harris

in Journal of the History of Collections

Volume 22, issue 1, pages 115-128
Published in print May 2010 | ISSN: 0954-6650
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1477-8564 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhc/fhn019
The Trower collection

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Charlotte Trower (1855–1928) is a poorly known amateur botanical artist, who in collaboration with her sister Alice (1853–1929) and the amateur botanist George Claridge Druce (1850–1932), painted over 1,800 scientifically accurate watercolours of the British flora. The purpose of this paper is to investigate Trower's watercolour collection and her collaboration with Druce. This unusual collection, together with an extensive archive of correspondence, shows how fruitful connections were made between artist and botanist and how serendipity influenced both the choice of species painted and the areas from which these species were collected. Both Trower and Druce gained from their relationship. Trower received constructive criticism of her work, together with access to unusual and rare plants, whilst Druce could bask in the reflected glory of an influential lady and enhance his own botanical reputation.

Journal Article.  8830 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Social and Cultural History

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