Friends Support Naturally Inspired
2 June 2016
RAMM’s Friends have added 34 botanical watercolours to the museum’s collections. The paintings are all preliminary plates by local naturalist Rev. William Keble Martin for his best-selling publication: The Concise British Flora in Colour.
The Friends have also financed the conservation of the paintings, enabling some of the finest examples to be displayed with Exeter’s Fine Art as part of the 2016 botanical theme, Naturally Inspired. The new paintings will appear in both the summer and winter selections.
Rev. William Keble Martin
The Rev. William Keble Martin (1877 – 1969) first came to Devon at the age of fourteen when his father was appointed as rector of Dartington, near Totnes. Before ordination, he read Botany at Oxford and returned to Devon in 1921 serving the church until his retirement in 1949. Following 60 years of fieldwork, the Concise British Flora was first published in May 1965. In 1966 he was given an honorary doctorate for the University of Exeter. He died at Woodbury aged 92.
Almost 1,000 specimens from his herbarium and his vasculum, the metal canister with a strap used for storing plants during collecting in the field, are already part of RAMM’s collections. His herbarium includes specimens from around the UK but many are local.
The Friends support the RAMM in many ways, both practically and financially. Members enjoy a wide range of benefits including a newsletter, invitations to private views, social functions, outings and lectures.
Chair of the Museum Friends Alan Caig said “One of the main purposes of the Friends is to support RAMM in extending and conserving the collection, and the opportunity to assist with these exquisite pieces was one we weren’t going to let go by. We are delighted to see them take their place as yet another of the jewels of the collection.”
Cllr Rosie Denham, Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, said “Donations are vital to the museum. The generosity of individuals, companies and groups like the Friends allows RAMM to expand the collections, increase visitor engagement and protect Exeter and Devon’s heritage for present and future generations. The Friends have made an enormous contribution to all areas of the museum’s collections. Joining them is a great way to support the city.”
Naturally Inspired is RAMM’s season of botanicals, gardens and landscapes.