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Floral Fantasies

Following the Government announcement yesterday, museums and galleries in Cambridge will be closed to the public as part of a period of national/local restrictions. So, with great sadness, we will not be able to reopen as planned on 2 January 2021.

The Museum’s exceptional collection of botanical watercolours and drawings includes an array of posies, bouquets and elaborate floral arrangements. Magnificent roses, hyacinths, magnolias, peonies, fuchsias and irises jostle for attention in the works of Gerard van Spaendonck (1746–1822) and Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759–1840). The floral motifs seen in the designs and illustrations of Walter Crane (1845–1915) and Clarence Bicknell (1842–1918) similarly draw their inspiration from garden flowers. Complemented by floral miniatures, jewellery, Sèvres porcelain and children’s books from the wider collection, the watercolours in this exhibition reveal how artists’ everlasting passion for flowers has manifested itself in a variety of creative forms.

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