• Overview
  • Location
  • You might also like

‘dear Nature’s child’ - William Curtis: the fascinating story of one of the greatest naturalists of the 18th century

Born in Alton in 1746 into a Quaker family, William Curtis was to become one of the centuries most original and pioneering minds in the study of native plants and insects. 

His fascination with the natural world was clear from an early age and led his father to apprentice him to his grandfather, a local apothecary. But it soon became apparent that such a young enquiring mind could not be limited to the realm of pills and potions.

Aged only 25 he published Instructions for collecting and preserving insects; particularly moths and butterflies and went on to produce influential studies of grasses, kale and the Brown-tail moth. His skills as a communicator flourished with his demonstrations and lectures at the Chelsea Physic Garden in the 1770s. He pioneered the study of urban nature with his publication Flora Londinensis, a work he put to practical use with the creation of his own gardens, including the London Botanic Garden in Lambeth in 1779.

Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, arguably his greatest legacy, was first published in 1787 and proved so popular it continues in publication today, the world’s longest running botanical magazine.

‘dear Nature’s child’ is an exhibition that looks at William's life and legacy and highlights work recently done in the Gallery Garden by volunteers to incorporate some of the plants illustrated in the early editions of the Botanical Magazine. The exhibition title is a line from a poem on his tombstone, now lost, in St Mary’s Church, Battersea.

  • William Curtis

Location

Allen Gallery

Address: Allen Gallery, Church Street, Alton GU34 2BW
Telephone: 01420 82802

You might also like

The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre
BP Portrait Award 2018
30 March - 26 June 2019
The BP Portrait Award is the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world. The award is aimed at encouraging artists of all ages to focus upon and develop the theme of portraiture in...
Gosport Gallery
International Garden Photographer of the Year
27 April - 06 July 2019
International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) is the world’s most prestigious photographic competition and exhibition for garden, plant and botanical photography. Coming to Gosport Gallery...
Westbury Manor Museum
Birds, Boats and Back Garden Wildlife
11 May - 06 July 2019
From blackbirds to black-headed gulls, in this exhibition Rachel Hudson celebrates the wildlife of the Hampshire and Dorset coastline and countryside with her distinctive illustrations. “ Bold,...
Eastleigh Museum
Eastleigh College: The Leisure Courses Exhibition
11 May - 22 June 2019
A celebration of the work of the Eastleigh College Adult Learners. Join them and view various pieces of creativity! Exhibits range from glass engraving, photography, cake artistry, drawing and...
City Space, Winchester Discovery Centre
Winchester Photographic Society Annual Print Exhibition
25 May - 23 June 2019
Selected by a panel of experienced judges from over 500 entries, this popular event showcases prints that represent the very best of Winchester Photographic Society’s members' work. Regular visitors...
Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery
Colours of Rocks
01 June - 06 July 2019
This exhibition will feature a collection of small abstract paintings created by the local artist Junko O’Neill, using Japanese traditional paints made from natural mineral pigments. Unlike oil paints...