Gertrude Jekyll: Landscape Gardener and Craftswoman to open at Woking's Lightbox

By Culture24 Reporter | 04 March 2013
  • Archived article

A major summer exhibition will survey the dextrous design career of a creative polymath.

A photo of a beautiful, colourful garden with a kind of green gate leading into it
The gardens at The Manor House, Upton Grey were designed by Gertrude Jekyll in 1908© Country Life
Gertrude Jekyll – a musician, composer, embroiderer, botanist, silversmith, political activist and suffragette, aside from being the visionary behind more than 400 gardens during the late 19th and early 20th centuries – is to be at the centre of an exhibition at The Lightbox in Woking, which has gathered exhibits from across the country in a study of her myriad passions and talents.

A mottled brown monochrome photo of a female garden designer with a spade
Jekyll in around 1879© Mr Nohl
Born in Guildford, Jekyll considered JMW Turner a major influence on the unprecedentedly artistic layouts she became famed for. The display will use letters, notebooks and photos to illuminate her alliances with figures including Sir Edwin Lutyens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Lord Leighton, Hercules Brabazon Brabazon, John Ruskin and Sir Edward Poynter.

Some of the designer’s greatest triumphs, such as the 15-acre Munstead Wood, where Jekyll commissioned Lutyens to build the central house, are in close proximity to the gallery. The Manor House at Upton Grey, in Hampshire, also features a four-and-a-half-acre garden by her, first planted in 1909.

Jekyll’s scientific approach to perfumes and the remedial qualities of plants will also be elucidated, as well as her arts and crafts interiors, drawing room furniture and textile hangings.

  • Gertrude Jekyll: Landscape Gardener and Craftswoman runs at The Lightbox from May 15 – September 8 2013.
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