Leslie Fine: Art in Bloom

Boston is a city with many opportunities for artistic inspiration. A great way to indulge your creativity and satisfy your spring fever is at the Museum of Fine Arts “Art in Bloom” exhibit. Local florists and garden club members create beautiful flower arrangements based on traditional works of art, taking influence from the masterpieces to create their own work of genius.

By combining artwork and flowers together to create a wonderful new perspective, the floral designers use the art to inspire them; this is not much different than how I, as an interior designer, draw inspiration from the world around me.

Here are a number of the art and floral arrangement combinations that I found particularly inspiring:

1.  Arno – Horatio Greenough; 1839; Marble (Sculpture)

Floral arrangement by the Garden Club of Hyannis, Karen Knaub & Kitty Lorenz; 2013; Flax, Calla Lily, Celosia, Gladiolas, Berzillia, Anthurium, Rose, Chrysanthemum, Philodendron, Mitsumata Branch

Photos by Leslie Fine

This crisp white floral arrangement corresponds to the dramatic white sculpture. Like the sculpture, the arrangement works wonderful from all sides and angles. While the arrangement is unique in its low horizontal configuration the choice of flowers are somewhat traditional, which goes well with the traditional sculpture.

2.  Altar – Akati Akpele Kendo; Mid-19th-Century; Iron & Pigment

Floral arrangement by the Jamaica Plain Men’s Group Garden Club, Carey Erdman & Tim Dreher; 2013; Amaranthus, Calla Lily, Bromeliad, Celosia, Boronia, Orchid, Allium, Artichoke, Leucadendron, Berzelia, Astrantia, Foxtail Lily, Leucospermum, Ti Leaf, Fritillaria, Kangaroo Paw

I was immediately drawn to the way the arrangement and and art seems visually  balanced; the top of the floral arrangement is even with the top of the display case. The arrangement looks rigid and old like the piece itself, partially because of the unique bark container.

3. A Student – Felice Casorati; 1930; Oil on Plywood Panel

Floral arrangement by the Weston Garden Club, Barbie Cobb & Vicki Spencer; 2013; Ti Leaf, Ginger, Rice Flower, Leucadendron, Willow

The colors of the floral arrangement are quite close to the colors of this painting. The simple rendition of the ginger pine cones with a tea leaf that represents the man’s arm creates a focal point. The peach color of the art is well represented in the arrangement. Both the image and the arrangement are grounded in a shadowy form.

4. Dutch and Dutch-Indonesian Garden and Flower Exhibition – Aart van Dobbenburgh; 1923; Color Lithograph

Floral arrangement by the Worcester Garden Club, Katherine Michie & Susan Dewey; 2013; Rose, Anthurium, Aepidistra, Hypericum, Flax, Ti Leaf, Protea, Calla Lily

This attention grabbing floral arrangement is best described in the description of the poster that inspired it: “Blood red flowers with the spiky black lettering serves as a kind of ironwork trellis [that] produces a dramatic effect.” The flat black boxes and spikes provide that dramatic contrast with the beautiful red flowers. Like the poster, the flowers sweep across the arrangement providing the illusion of movement.

5. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit – John Singer Sargent; 1882; Oil on Canvas

Floral arrangement by the Noanett Garden Club, Marjorie Taylor & Ginna Parker; 2013; Anemone, Lily, Delphinium, Hydrangea, Leucadendron, Snapdragon, James Story Orchid, Pussy Willow, Rose, Hypericum, Ti Leaf

This floral arrangement incorporates all the colors of the painting as well as the surrounding space. The painting is a portrait of young sisters, and none of them are looking directly at the viewer.. The white flowers with black centers are like the children hopping around the arrangement. Similar to the way the subjects are not looking at the viewer, the flowers are not facing in any specific direction. The blue color of the vases that are flanking the painting are used in the floral arrangement.

6. The Fish – John La Farge; 1890; Leaded stained glass

Floral arrangement by the Sudbury Garden Club, Donna Johnson & Judy Handley; 2013; Delphinium, Ruscus, Hydrangea, Wax Flower, Lemon Leaf

Tucked away in a corner is a fun play on the stained glass window. The arrangement uses leaves that are shaped like fish, and it incorporates some man made things like glass stones and pins.

7. Weather vane – Thomas Drowne; 1772; Gilt sheet copper, iron, lead, glass eyes

Floral arrangement by the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Judges Council Maureen Christmas

The arrangement mimics the sweeping tale of the rooster. Its focus is in the center and seems to be inspired by the turning motions of a weather vane.

Congratulations to the Museum of Fine Arts for another wonderful Art in Bloom!

-Leslie Fine

Leslie Fine, of Leslie Fine Interiors, Inc. in Boston, is an award-winning interior designer involved in residential projects all over New England and beyond. In addition to her design career, she also blogs about design. Leslie can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lesliefineint and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LeslieFineInteriors.

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