Raymond Booth: In The Wild

24 May - 16 June 2017

The Fine Art Society is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Raymond Booth. Born in 1929, Booth won a scholarship to Leeds College of Art at the age of sixteen. His studies were interrupted by two years National Service, mostly spent in Egypt. He contracted tuberculosis after leaving college in 1953, however the resulting spell in a sanatorium gave him the freedom to paint.


Booth submitted work for exhibition to the Royal Horticultural Society, where it attracted the attention of a number of distinguished plantsmen, most particularly that of Dr Harold Fletcher, the director of the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens at Wisley. He exhibited individual works at Walker's Gallery on New Bond Street and later, from 1962, at the Fine Art Society, where he held his first one-man exhibition in 1975.


In 1992, he produced his magnum opus Japonica Magnifica, in conjunction with Don Elick. The book resulted from twelve years of correspondence with Elick, an American plant collector who lived in Japan for more than 40 years. Their shared love of Japanese flora and landscape is shown in the botanical paintings and drawings, of which a number of the original studies and illustrations can be seen in this exhibition.


In 2007 The Fine Art Society presented an exhibition devoted to the subject closest to Raymond's heart: In Adel Woods, which was followed in 2011 by an anniversary exhibition celebrating fifty years with the gallery. After his death in 2015, the gallery held a memorial exhibition to celebrate his life and extraordinary career. Raymond's work is included in many public and private collections in Europe, America, Japan and the Middle East, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; the Ulster Museum, Belfast, the Hunt Institute, Pittsburgh and Leeds City Art Gallery.