Explore America with Ansel Adams

Philadelphia Flower Show

Across the aisle from Robertson’s Arches National Park (see last post) was another commercial exhibit conceived and created by professional floral design team.


Ansel Adams By Schaffer DesignsSchaffer Designs created one of the very finest displays ever seen at the Philadelphia Show!!!  20C photographer Ansel Adams was given the Medal of Freedom (by President Jimmy Carter) “for his foresight (Adams) and fortitude much of America has been saved for future generations”  In their tribute, based on Adams original photographs, Schaffer Designs created a dynamic monochromatic tribute worthy of this great artist.

 Ansel Adams Tribute

Ansel Adams’ black and white photographs were blown-up as backdrops for the floral installations which were created in the same tonal compositions.

 NP signs

Andel Adams & Car

Excellent signage for each photograph not only told about the Park but also about the work and influence of Ansel Adams, here, perched on top of his car.

 Kalupapa National Park

 Hawaii details

The lead design was centered on Kalaupappa National Historic Park, Molokai, Hawaii, which, to put it baldly, was a leper colony from 1866-1969. A volcanic crater, high sea cliffs and a rain forest provide habitat to over 30 endangered flora and fauna.

Sequoia National Park

Adams’ photograph in the background, called “Fallen Tree”, and was photographed in Big Arroyo, Sequoia National Park.

 Giant Dome 2

Giant Dome

Carlsbad Caverns is a limestone cave in a fossil reef laid down by an inland sea almost 300 million years ago.  Adams was quoted as saying about the Cave, ” Some of the forms are beyond description for sheer beauty…”

 Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam details

The apparatus of  the Hoover Dam  construction(1931-36) hovering over the natural beauty of Lake Meade in Adams’  photograph is echoed in this construction of flowers including magnificent huge Birds of Paradise.


 Wanda LakeThis photograph is “Lake near Muir Woods”, photographed in Kings Canyon National Park.  Adams was hugely responsible for this becoming a National Park.

 Vernal Falls

“Vernal Fall” was photographed in 1941 in Yosemite National Park.  This rain shower of orchids and skeletonized Bodhi leaves was suspended from the ceiling.

National Park photo realism


Totally missed in identifying this Park, but the large curving space and all the angular forms filled with gorgeous material were fascinating.

 Coloration detailsMoving up close, it is possible to see the great variation in tone and the very slight natural coloration of many of the plant materials.  Some of the material was color enhanced very subtly as you can see in these roses, left.

Park Aspens


 Marching Aspens

 Aspens Up Close

These beautiful trees were the ‘closing’ side of the tribute to Ansel Adams.  In the top photo, panels of tree photos stand between these clusters.  This display alone would have made a striking tribute to the National Parks.

 Ansel Adams Tribute

Despite the ghastly but necessary show lighting (and my inability to get rid of it in photoshop), I hope you can understand this dynamic presentation and how exciting it was to see!!!!




About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
This entry was posted in Art and Flowers, floral design ideas, floral designs, flower arrangements, flower show, Horticulture, Philadelphia Flower Show, Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Explore America with Ansel Adams

  1. Peggy Moore says:

    Susan, you did a wonderful job of capturing this dynamic display. I loved it. Thanks for the good photos and a concise write up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.