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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Flora in Winter '08

On Thursday January 24 a friend and I went to "Flora in Winter" an exhibit at the Worcester Art Museum, a medium-sized museum with a superb collection of art works. This year’s is the sixth annual exhibit of floral arrangements which interpret works in the museum’s galleries.

I was not going to take my camera since most places do not allow any photography. But I slipped my digital camera in my purse and upon arrival at the museum asked about taking photos. I was told that it was OK, but no flash. One of the museum staff showed me how to turn off the flash of my camera and I was all set. The first two shots, no flash. But as I held the camera and walked around, it reset itself and the next one flashed.

This went on throughout the visit. The attendant in a particular gallery would tell me the no flash rule. I would reset the flash off, take a few photos, forget and then the flash would go off when I was in another gallery.
This (above) was without flash.This was with flash.

It was quite a nuisance, and each time I decided not to take any more photos. That decision went out the window, of course, as soon as I saw the next floral arrangement. Even though there were lots of people around in the galleries and public spaces, I was happily able to take forty photos. Of these, I had to discard three as someone had walked in front of the camera.
Floral designs in the galleries were done by area garden club members. Those in the public spaces (lobbies, etc) were done by professional florists. Most of the floral designs had a list of materials used. Did we ever see some interesting plants! And such inventive use of the flowers and accompanying materials. My photos just give a dim idea of the beauty on display. Click on each photo for larger enhanced view.

At the top of one staircase we found the bust of Flora in space overlooking the Renaissance Court with its fabulous mosaic floor.

This painting is interpreted with white hydrangeas, white peonies

This large arrangement in one of the lobbies was about 4 feet off the table and about 3 feet wide.
Here is a closeup of the variety of plant materials incorporated in this giant display:

This painting of a woman in red ["Lizzie B. Dewey" by John Singer Sargent] was interpreted quite closely with red tulips and white roses. Since the designer was late in her installation, we got to see her work on putting this together.

As we entered a gallery with pre-Colombian art mostly from Mexico, another visitor said, "There is something very interesting in there…." We saw it – an arrangement incorporating succulent plants, a stone surface, etc.

but it took another visitor to point out the work it was interpreting – a stone table in shape of a turtle. See on right:

For Winslow Homer’s painting, "The Gale" the designer interpreted the strong woman holding her child in face of the blustering sea. Two women who were judges of floral competition came by and helped identify the many different plants used.

The entrance closest to where we parked had this banner announcing an exhibit of American art from Winterthur Museum that runs through April 6.

Just outside the gallery with that exhibit the same image is interpreted quite literally by the floral designer, who draped a scarf around the large vase. The painting is "Sally" by Joseph DeCamp.

Each year the owner of Sprout in Worcester chooses to do the restrooms with some surprising design. Here is this year’s design for one of the ladies room. It put a smile on the face of each person who entered.
The design incorporated paper cutouts on the mirrors, and orchids amid ferns and various green plants.

Well it was a fun few hours that we spent at the museum. We were able to meet with and thank the museum staff member and friend who had sent us complimentary tickets to Flora in Winter.

I hope you enjoyed seeing these captivating floral designs. It was a sight for sore winter eyes for sure.


kari and kijsa said...

Thanks for entering our give-away...we will have to check out this museum when we go to the Cape this summer....great, great, great post!

smiles, kari & kijsa

Sprout said...

Finding your post made me smile - glad we were able to do the same with our restroom decor!

Put Flora 2009 on your calendar - Feb 5-8, 2009. http://www.sprout-flowers.com/2008/09/flora-in-winter-2009_29.html