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The Iris Florilegium of Sir Cedric Morris

July 6November 3

Winner of the national Finnis Scott Foundation Botanical Art Award

Dr Siân Dawson inspired the idea and coordinated the illustrated catalogue of paintings called Sir Cedric Morris Florilegium. It is a book by leading botanical artists who painted the Florilegium of the unique award-winning irises bred by Sir Cedric Morris (1889–1982), artist and gardener who lived at Benton End, Hadleigh, Suffolk. Morris propagated the Benton End bearded irises between 1933 and 1960, now held in the National Plant Collection cultivated by Sarah Cook, horticultural expert and former head gardener at Sissinghurst, Kent.

The Florilegium comprises 27 botanical watercolour paintings, meticulously observed and accurately recorded of known cultivated varieties of bearded iris growing today. Many of the artists are Gold Medal winners for Botanical Art from the Royal Horticultural Society. Each artist explains their work in the accompanying caption. The Finnis Scott Foundation Botanical Art Award is the most valuable award of its kind. Dr Dawson was delighted to receive, on behalf of all the artists, such a prestigious award.

This exhibition is the first time the Sir Cedric Morris Florilegium collection has been displayed in full. It will be available with Revealing Nature: The Art of Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett-Haines at Gainsborough’s House from 6 July – 3 November 2024.

An image of The Finnis Scott Foundation logo.