Flora in Winter…2014

Worcester Art Museum

Worcester Art Museum

Flowers fill the Worcester Art Museum (www.worcesterart.org) every January, when several dozen floral designers and florists take part in Flora in Winter.  This much anticipated annual fundraiser for the museum brightens the month of January in New England.

Worcester Art Museum

Worcester Art Museum

Florists create for the great central courtyard as well as some of the more intimate passages.  Bamboo is tough and flexible, lending itself to this towering  structure is both airy and strong.

great hall detailI’ve lightened this photo so you may see that the orb on the lower right is a cluster of African violet plants!  The center spray consists of Bells of Ireland and purple alliums.

Presentation in the TempleFlora in Winter organizes the designers in the autumn when the artwork is chosen and emailed to them for their selection.  This painting is called “A Processional Banner: The Presentation in the Temple”.  Notice the basket canes arching over the design in the same manner as the vaulted ceiling arches over the figures.

Young Shepherd with Sheep and Goats“Young Shepherd with Sheep and Goats” is a painting on loan to the Worcester Museum.

Young Shepherd detailA detail more easily shows the various colors and textures that give the design its interest.

 Portrait of a Man with a GunThe rich palette of a grand manner painting, “Portrait of a Man with a Gun”, is evoked with the myriad of tropical blooms.  In particular, the several varieties of helaconia create not only the stature of the painting but subtly achieve the diagonal of the gun as well.

Sleeping EndmyionThe extravagant posture of “Sleeping Endymion”, Nicolas-Guy Brenet, inspired this very contemporary design.  Large dried cecrophia leaves give the necessary weight to balance the dramatic gesture of the willow branches and carnations. For those not familiar with them, they are a rich dark brown on the reverse side.

Sleeping Endmyion detailA close-up shows the mechanics of the design.  The curving metal bands are used to hold up pipes.  The mums are put through the holes into a tube of water.

Tryptich This triptych “Apollo and Daphne, The Fall of Phaethon, A group of three figures” is a challenge well met by the monumental almost cork-like form and the melting peach and red colors.

O Paraiso (Paradise)We always admire those who are chosen to interpret the most contemporary works in the WAM collection.  This painting is “O Paraiso (Paradise)” by Beatriz Milhazes.  Wheels of intricately placed flowers express the exuberance of this work.

Worcester Art Museaum

Worcester Art Museum

It takes a brave and talented designer to interpret a whole gallery room.  This pedestal stands in the center of the gallery.  Each side of the design has great  interest and harmony and yet they are equally diverse.  A tour de force for room 204!


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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