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World Land Trust art gallery celebrates Halesworth in Bloom with special exhibition

4 July, 2014 - 09:14 -- World Land Trust
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Giant water lily: Victoria regia by Walter Hood Fitch from Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865), London: Reeve and Benham 1851

July 2014: An exhibition of books and prints relating to two of the world’s most famous botanists will go on display at World Land Trust art gallery in Bridge Street, Halesworth, on Friday 11 July.

The exhibition will showcase botanical works relating to two former directors of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865) and his son Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911), who both lived in Halesworth.

The display has been organised by World Land Trust (WLT) in support of Halesworth’s Anglia in Bloom bid.

The exhibition will include portraits copied from the collection of the Linnean Society of London and prints of the giant Victoria Lily, along with photographs and engravings of William and Joseph Hooker. Also on show will be a copy of Exotic Flora and other books on loan from the Linnean Society.

Halesworth Hooker Trail Booklet

A booklet about William and Joseph Hooker will be launched at the exhibition preview on Thursday 10 July at 6pm.

The publication has been researched and produced by Halesworth in Bloom volunteers Anna Badar, Elizabeth Grant, Stephanie Hammond, Tamsyn Imison, Jan Martin, Richard Woolnough and Liz Wooster.

Endorsed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the booklet tells the story of the two men and includes a walking tour of places in Halesworth connected with them.

“We hope that all those involved with Halesworth in Bloom will join us for the launch of the Halesworth Hooker Trail Booklet at the exhibition preview at World Land Trust art gallery,” said Dame Tamsyn Imison, Coordinator of Halesworth’s Anglia in Bloom bid.

In 2013, Halesworth won a silver gilt award from Anglia in Bloom. In 2014, the judges will visit Halesworth on Tuesday 15 July 2014. “The town is in the running for a gold award in Anglia in Bloom 2014 and we urge residents and traders to make sure the town is looking absolutely lovely for the judges,” said Dame Tamsyn.

World famous botanists

William Jackson Hooker, was born in Norwich in 1785, and went to Norwich High School. There he met James Smith, the friend of Sir Joseph Banks, and founder of the Linnean Society, who encouraged the young William’s interests in natural history. 

In 1815 William married Maria, the daughter of Dawson Turner, a successful banker from Yarmouth (and a well-connected amateur botanist). The couple settled in Halesworth, William having inherited substantial property from his wealthy godfather William Jackson.

By the time their son Joseph was born in 1817, William had given up business and devoted himself to botany and creating an herbarium, a collection of dried plants mounted on paper. In 1820 the family moved to Glasgow, where they lived for the next 20 years, before William became the first Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. He was knighted in 1836, and when he died aged 81, he was succeeded as Director at Kew by his son Joseph.

Joseph travelled much more extensively than his father, and between them they created a herbarium that was already the greatest in the world in their own lifetime, and continues to be the most important plant collection.

WLT art gallery logo

Summer exhibition

World Land Trust has recently formed a partnership with the Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham, and the current Summer Exhibition at WLT art gallery has been curated by artist Andrew Haslen, who runs the Lavenham gallery with his daughter Amie, also an artist.

Andrew said: “We are great advocates of the Trust’s charitable activities and are very much looking forward to supporting their work and exhibiting our artists in this attractive gallery.”

The first exhibition of the partnership features work by Andrew alongside works by Robert Gilmor, Robert Greenhalf, Stephen Henderson, Jeremy James, Matt Underwood and others.

Andrew Haslen will be in WLT art gallery on Saturday 5 July and Saturday 12 July, 10am-4pm. Visitors to the gallery on both days will have an opportunity to meet Andrew and find out more about his work and artistic technique.

More information

World Land Trust art gallery is at Blyth House, Bridge Street, Halesworth. The gallery provides a small income for the Trust’s charitable work and is open Monday to Saturday 10am–4pm. 

The Wildlife Art Gallery in Lavenham, was established in 1988 and over the past 25 years has organised and promoted many exhibitions by the country’s leading wildlife artists as well as exhibitions by influential artists of the 20th century. 


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