1929 - 2015
At the age of sixteen Booth won a scholarship to Leeds College of Art. His studies were interrupted by two years National Service, mostly spent in Egypt. After leaving college in 1953 it was discovered that he had contracted tuberculosis but the resulting spell in a sanatorium gave him the freedom to paint. He submitted work for exhibition to the Royal Horticultural Society, where it attracted the attention of a number of distinguished plantsmen, most particularly that of Dr Harold Fletcher, the director of the RHS's gardens at Wisley. He also exhibited individual works at Walker's Galleries in New Bond Street and later, from 1962, at The Fine Art Society, where he held his first one-man exhibition in 1975.
His magnum opus, Japonica Magnifica, produced in conjunction with Don Elick, was published by Alan Sutton Publishing in 1992, and the detailed botanical studies for this work were exhibited in London and Leeds as well as touring a number of museum venues in the United States. Booth's work is included in many public and private collections in Europe, America, Japan and the Middle East, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; the Ulster Museum, Belfast; The Hunt Institute, Pittsburgh and Leeds City Art Gallery, where he had a major retrospective exhibition in 2002. Raymond Booth was represented exclusively by The Fine Art Society until his death in 2015.