Art in Bloom at the Museum of Fine Arts

Art in Bloom at the Museum of Fine Arts

If you love art and flowers, this event is for you.

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Art in Bloom is an annual event run by the MFA Associates-volunteer guide and flower designers who make a four year commitment to the museum. During the year we give tours and create flower arrangements for the museum in addition to working at the Sharf Information Desk once a month. We also plan and run Art in Bloom which is an incredible task that takes months. Each of us works on different committees to help with the planning. During the event, not only do we make sure everything runs smoothly – but we also give loop tours for museum goers. There are fifty works of art assigned to fifty garden clubs who interpret the art with a flower arrangement. As guide and flower arrangers we lead loop tours throughout the event, explaining the work of art and the arrangement that goes with it. The loop tours are my favorite part of Art in Bloom. It is so much fun to interact with visitors and take them around the museum.

Here are a few arrangements I toured last year.

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“Green Street” was painted by Beauford Delaney in 1940, and this began his abstract approach to city scapes. This arrangement by the Amelia Garden Club represents the bold color palette of the painting. The flowers were arranged very tightly together to show the tension of an urban city street.

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William Mathew Prior painted “Three Sisters of the Copeland Family” in 1854. Prior was a staunch abolitionist, and his clientele included many Afro-Americans. The painting has a triangular composition and primitive style.

The Newburyport Garden Club arrangers “color-blocked” the flowers to portray the blue, yellow and green colors of the girls’ dresses. The simple box container represents Prior’s hand-built frame.

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Sometimes the Object Selection committee will choose a musical instrument as inspiration for an arrangement. The flower arrangers of the Atkinson NH Garden Club had a great sense of humor representing this ornate 1878 reed organ, one of the many instruments on view at the museum.

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The painting, “Country Doctor (Night Call)” was painted by Horace Pippin in 1935. It was the first painting by an African American to enter the MFA’s collection in 1970. Look how the Sudbury Garden Club arrangers portrayed the sleet by placing painted white dogwood branches through the darker branching. The pave technique represents the snow. The arrangers found the box which dates back to 1939 on Ebay.

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The objects for Art in Bloom are chosen to bring people into parts of the museum where they might not normally go. This arrangement by the Weston Garden Club represents the elegance and color scheme of this period room, “The Dining Room, Hamilton Place” made of oak and black marble by William Morgan around 1700. This beautiful mass flower arrangement reflects the elegance of the wood paneling, the rose color draperies and the beautiful silver and blue delft porcelain in the room. The container is a large traditional silver chalice which fits the style of the room as well. In flower arranging the container and flowers need to relate to each another as parts of the whole design.

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Even though I wrote about this in my last post, here is the arrangement I did for the Art in Bloom Road Show at the Boston Flower Show in March. The arrangement was based on Matisse’s “Purple Robe and Anemones”. It was an honor to represent the museum and also a great way to get into the Art In Bloom spirit! Please join us at the MFA on Saturday April 29 – Monday May 1 for this year’s Art in Bloom!

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