Flora Euphoria at WAM

Gauguin at WAMBy the time I post this, the curtain will have come down on another successful ‘Flora in Winter’, the Worcester Art Museum’s major fundraiser and all-around great weekend.  The Museum’s extensive collections provide the creative inspiration for galleries full of stunning flower arrangements, bringing a preview of Spring to members and visitors.  Congratulations to all the designers.  Here is a small selection to enjoy.

21C design at WAMOver two dozen floral designers are invited by the Museum to exhibit with a work of art.  They choose from a selection of paintings and prints, sculptures and decorative arts dating from antiquity to the 21st C.

Breughel at WAM“The Marriage Procession” by Pieter Breughel, the Younger, is charmingly represented by this synergistic design.

Detail of WAM interpretationThe cluster of vases march across the pedestal while the flowers highlight the white wimple headdresses of the ladies using white calla lilies and the scarlet tunics in repeated ranunculus, freesia and hypericum.

Grey lady at WAMA number of portraits challenged designers.  “Isabella Carr” by Sir Joshua Reynolds is a handsome serene portrait and the designer’s scheme of dusty miller, voluptuous cream roses, pussy willow and berzillia (gray berries) achieves exactly the same mood.

Gentleman-Pensioner at WAMThe stance of John Farnham, Gentlemen Pensioner to Elizabeth I, in Steven van der Meulen’s portrait provided a framework for this design which was as handsome on the back as the front.  The frame not only echoed the design but gave stability to the safety of the tall design.

Flemish painting at WAM“St Jerome in Penitence” from the Flemish School, Antwerp, is a huge painting dominating the gallery wall.  The immense sweep of diagonal red robes is beautifully caught by the designer in excellent proportion to the pedestal.

whimsical tailoringA whimsical interpretation of the activities in “The Interior of a Tailor Shop” by Quiringh Gerritsz van Brekelenkam (now that’s a mouthful) uses a pile of magnolia leaves with an antique spool wound with orange felted wool yarn.  I don’t know if those are orange orchids, nor do I know what the ‘needle’ is – but isn’t it fun?

Indian sculptureThis sandstone sculpture of Vishnu, a revered God in India, is jam-packed with symbolic details that were creatively and carefully thought out by the designers of this arrangement.

sculptural flowersBearing with the rather out of focus image, notice that each one of the many kinds of pristine plant material have a correlation to various images on the stone.  What makes this work so well is that you don’t need to know this to appreciate it as an excellent interpretation.

handmade pottery containersEllsworth Kelly’s “Orange White” inspired this design using red-orange anthuriums.  Where do you get such perfect ceramic containers to execute the design?  Of course, if you are this super creative person, you make them yourself!


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.
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2 Responses to Flora Euphoria at WAM

  1. Betsy says:

    Looks like a fabulous show and a most clever idea. Hmmmmm. Well done you.

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