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Sarah G. Towery botanical watercolors

Collection number: ahc.VIS362

Scope and Content

This collection contains 35 of 36 original botanical watercolors painted by Sarah G. Towery for Ryan Gainey's (1944-2016) book The Gathered Garden (2012). The thirty-sixth watercolor, "Ryan's Rainbow," is not included in the collection. Gainey, a world-renowned garden designer and horticulturist, commissioned Towery to complete 36 botanical watercolors. Towery reproduced, in watercolor, plants Gainey selected which he considered to be important in connecting people to garden history. The plants also reflect the history of Gainey's own garden and the evolution of his life as a gardener. Some of the scientific names used were Gainey's own creations such as Iris hexagonal and Dianthus plumarius 'Nora'. Many plants have been named after Gainey, including:Hydrangea arborescens 'Ryan Gainey' and Chrysanthemum superbum 'Ryan's Daisy,' both of which are featured in Towery's prints.


  • 2012


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research,

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

Sarah G. Towery (1947- ) was born to Sarah Carlisle Towery (1911-2007) and Gelmon T. Towery (1908-1972) in Alexander City, Alabama. Towery attended Benjamin Russell High School in Alexander City and later received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Auburn University. Towery was a member of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma during her time at Auburn. She married Clark Wade and in 1988 they had a daughter, Lauren. After graduation she worked as a Delta Airlines flight attendant while also pursuing her career as a botanical artist. The Wade family lived in Tucker, Georgia, where Towery had an art studio. Notable commissions fulfilled by Towery include 31 watercolor flower prints for the State of Georgia welcome brochure, Georgia Wildflowers and Georgia Citizens for the Arts selection of her rendition of the tiger swallowtail butterfly, which hangs in the Governor's Mansion.


35 print(s)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged by the order in which the prints appear in The Gathered Garden.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2016, with a subsequent addition

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2019.

Sarah G. Towery botanical watercolors
Serena McCracken
September 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305