The book was purchased for £30,000 towards which the Art Fund and the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund each gave £10,000..
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: "The vibrant, stylish illustrations and lettering in this work capture the sleek style of 1920s graphic design and exemplify Bawden’s flair for colour and composition. It is wonderful that this rare manuscript – the artist’s first book – has now been acquired for the Cecil Higgins Gallery and Bedford Museum, where it will be cherished within the wider Bawden collection for years to come."
The manuscript is on display in the Lower Gallery in Bedford Gallery from today, alongside a copy of Adam and Evelyn at Kew, or Revolt in the Gardens (1930)by Robert Herring, which Bawden illustrated in 1930 with designs based his earlier unpublished work.
Listen to Tom Perrett, curator of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery and Bedford Museum, talking about this unique acquisition with the Art Fund’s Marina Bradbury.
To read more about the Art Fund click here.
Browse the manuscript below.
A General Guide to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Spring and Easter 1923 comprises 23 pages worked with watercolour, graphite, bodycolour, drawing ink, graphite and printed text collaged together on edge-gilt pages.