Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bouquets to Art 2007

Next week, from March 17-21, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their largest fundraiser, Bouquets to Art. The best floral designers all over the Bay Area are invited to design a floral creation to be paired with one of the museum's works of art. There will be nearly 150 floral exhibitions along with elegant teas and luncheons and even a formal gala night. Two of my favorite florists, Ron Morgan and Paula Pryke, will be giving demonstrations. If you are interested in floral design and you can only go to one event per year, this is the one to choose.

The remainder of this post is mostly recycled from a homework assignment I wrote in my floral design class in 2007. Our wonderful instructor, Wendy Pine, asked us to write about at least two of our favorite creations and one that we did not like. Thank you, Wendy, for making this post a breeze to publish!

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been to Bouquets to Art. I remember going the very first year that it was offered back when it was at the old De Young Museum. I clicked my heels with delight and was awed at the brilliance of marrying fine art with floral art – two of my favorite passions. My excitement for this show never waned from year to year. Each year offered new ideas, new combinations, and new interpretations; and yes, each year offered misguided creations allowing me and my friends to feel smug about our impeccable taste. This year did not disappoint us. I had to miss last year’s debut of Bouquets to Art because I was traveling, so this was my first time seeing the exhibit in the new De Young Museum building.

I have to admit that I miss the fabulous winding drive up to Legion of Honor location with the spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge. I miss seeing the tent set up in the courtyard signaling a very special event before you even walk into the building. Arriving from the garage elevator at the De Young comes up short. The De Young is much more spread out; in some cases, you almost have to look for the bouquets. The Legion of Honor imparted a more intimate feeling and every room was filled with flowers. Nevertheless, the show at the De Young was fantastic again.

Some of the interpretations were very literal:

I know those braids were made of plant material, but they look so close to human hair that it gave me a bit of the willies.

Some arrangements were extensions of a painting. This “tree” could have been on the other end of the courtyard and echoed the feeling of the sunlight and shadow in Albert Bierstadt’s painting.

Other arrangements conveyed the spirit of the art:

Ron Morgan's design is wonderful as always. Only he would be bold enough to use a discolored leaf as a major design element.

Posing barbed wire like a lasso in this interpretation of Frederic Remington’s bronze sculpture "The Bronco Buster" created movement and is also representative of the cowboy’s political cry “Don’t Fence Me In”. The clever use of cut branches helped create a strong line but also appeared to defy the laws of physics.

It's easy to overdo the props, but the black satin was a great a prop here because it exudes the drama of this painting byRobert Henri, "Lady in Black with Spanish Scarf", 1910.

Some of the popular works are nearly impossible to photograph without admirers filling your frame. This one was so popular that I was unable to get a photo of the accompanying painting.

I believe it was one of Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings of the San Francisco hills like this one:

Wayne Thiebaud, Down Eighteenth Street, 1980 Oil and charcoal on canvas

This arrangements has some many wonderful textures, it looks like Joseph’s dream coat. The floral artist writes:
“My intention is to create a panorama as we see it in the painting and then ---
a reminder to really see and appreciate the infinite textures, shapes, and
subtle colors in a forest.”

Some arrangements looked good enough to eat:

This interpretations of Wayne Thiebaud’s wonderful work of pop art "Three Machines" (1963)  is called "Gumballs Gone Wild":

I hope you enjoyed coming along; I wish you could have smelled the fresh fragrance of these flowers. Which were your favorites?

Flickr set here.


Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

I've always loved "Bucking Bronco"........let freedom ring!!!!!!!!

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Rebekah said...

Yes I DID love coming along. What a fabulous place.

LoisW said...

Those are spectacular! Is the black satin in front of a Manet? Stunning!

A Cuban In London said...

First of all, congratulations on International Women's Day (belatedly!). Secondly, what a lovely array of images! And the commentary was very well appreciated.

Greetings from London.

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

I thoroughly enjoyed coming along - wow, such talent - wish i lived ther then i could visit "for real"..:)

robin laws said...

i don't eat sushi but i sure would eat that sushi! thanks for the unusual tour. i hope one day you will be invited to show your own work there :)

paris parfait said...

How fantastic! Thanks for writing about this and posting these amazing arrangements!

Emily said...

Being from Kansas, I've got to say the Remington. Very cool exhibits. Wish I lived closer :(

Yoli said...

Oh what a delight!!!! The first and the last were my favorites!

Ruth said...

I loved Ron Morgan's, and the Remington one defying gravity, but the one that made me sigh out loud was the black satin. Together with the painting, it is stunning.

Thank you for taking the time to show and tell so very well!

Relyn Lawson said...

I loved the first and very literal interpretation, but the braids were too creepy. I didnt' care for the flowers that went with Albert Bierstadt’s painting, but I loved his work. Thanks to you, I've discovered a new artist. Of course I loved the black satin version. Both the flowers and the painting are simply delicious. Whose painting is that? It has the feel of a Sargeant, but I am pretty sure it's not one of his. Of course, I love the Missouri artist, George Caleb Bingham. I'd probably have lost my job teaching fourth grade, a big Missouri history year, if I didn't.

Great post.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Midlife,
I agree, Frederic Remington is an amazing sculptor. Don't fence me in!

Dear Rebekah,
I'm glad because I just posted another one :)

Dear Middle Aged,
Manet is a good guess, but I looked it up, it is by Robert Henri. I updated the text.

Dear Cuban,
Why thank you! I'm glad you appreciate my commentary, as you know, I give my opinion freely :)

Dear Here, There,
I hope one day you will be able to come; the fragrance is unbelievable.

Dear Robin,
Aren't they delish? I am so in awe of these artists, I would be frozen in fear!

Dear Paris,
Don't you think the Louvre ought to do this? There are so many fantastic European floral artists - esp. the Dutch of course ;)

Dear Jemm,
You simply must come out again; next time in March.

Dear Yoli,
I loved the first also, but I did not care for the last one. I love how we each view these differently.

Dear Ruth,
I have seen Ron Morgan give a floral demonstration - he is highly entertaining! I'm still trying to figure out how they defied gravity on the Remington piece. The black satin painting is chosen every year, I can't wait to see what they do this time.

Dear Relyn,
My photo of the Bierstadt flowers did not do them justtice, they were actually quite wonderful. She was able to convey the sunlight and shadow strictly with the use of color. I've added a link to Bierstadt's work. He is a spectacular landscape painter.

Sargent is another great guess. The painting is by Robert Henri.

I've always loved the George Caleb Bingham painting, Morgan's interpretation was masterful!

Jeannette StG said...

I like Wayne Thiebaudt's Oil and charcoal rendition of the freeway very much - but I'm prejudiced - I've seen more of his work and talked to him a oouple of times at art association meetings.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear jeannette,

I also love Thiebaudt's street paintings. The palm tree license plate on my car was designed by Thiebaud. I'm envious that you've met him. I'm afraid I would be completely tongue-tied with admiration.

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