History

Established in 1985, by Suzanne Lucas, The Society of Botanical Artists brings together artists of national and international repute.

Our aims are:

  • To advance the education of the public by promoting the appreciation of  botanical art
  • To provide facilities for the exhibition of work by artists who practice this genre of art
  • The evaluation and awarding of qualifications to practicing, and those seeking to become, professional artists
  • To promote the protection, appreciation, conservation and nurture of plants and natural habitats of plant life with special reference to endangered species.

Recently we have been busy making changes; for many years we have exhibited annually at the Central Hall Westminster gallery but in June 2019,  we exhibited at a new venue – the Mall Galleries in London; a bright and stylish contemporary space with bespoke lighting.

Exciting changes also came into fruition in 2019, the seeds of which were planted by the immediate past president Sandra Wall Armitage. The new President Billy Showell together with the now Co. President Gael Sellwood continue the changes with the help of the council and trustees of the society, ‘we are moving forward towards a more open society and one that brings more benefits and collaboration but continues to embrace all that is the botanical arts’ (Billy Showell).

In 2018 we saw the release of a new book by past president Margaret Stevens ‘Botanical Painting with the society of Botanical artists published by Batsford ltd.

In 2004 The Art of Botanical Painting was written by Margaret Stevens for the Society and published in association with Harper Collins. Initially designed for those searching for a practical guide to the subject of botanical art, the book has been a resounding success and the American edition was published by Harper Collins US in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution.

Another book The Botanical Palette, again written by Margaret Stevens for the Society, was published by Harper Collins in October 2007.

Realising that The Art of Botanical Painting would be an ideal textbook on which to base a course, the Society launched its Distance Learning Diploma Course in January 2005. Many Courses have now been completed. Enquiries for enrolment should be directed to the Executive Secretary [email protected]

In March 2010 Anova Books published Botanical Sketchbook by SBA Member and former DLDC student Mary Ann Scott, under the auspices of the SBA and with Margaret Stevens acting as consultant and co-editor.

In 2012 Anova Books published a heavily revised and expanded update of a classic text by Ernest E. Clark, Handbook of Botanical Forms for Botanical Artists, which features the contemporary work of tutors and students of the Society’s Distance Learning Diploma Course.

The Society of Botanical Artists became a registered charity in 1995.