I attended the annual Art in Bloom event at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts this past spring. The concept of “Art in Bloom” originated at the MFA in the mid ’70s. Simply stated, the idea is to create and display floral designs that interpret the works of art found in a museum. For those who love art and for those who love flowers, it is a brilliant synthesis. It is has been so successful that it has been adapted in varying forms by many museums throughout the nation.

MFA-ArtInBloom-HotStill

Hot Still-Scape For Six Colors-7th Avenue Style interpreted with flowers by the Garden Club of Hyannis

It’s a beautiful thing the fusion of art and floral design. Floral arrangements combined with the museum’s paintings and sculptures create an entirely new art genre that is more than the flowers and more than the museum piece — a combination mixed-media visual art.

Le Fils Du Nombri interpreted with flowers by the Noanett Garden Club

Le Fils Du Nombri interpreted with flowers by the Noanett Garden Club

When people look at a work of museum art next to a floral design, and they discuss how and why the floral designer chose his/her colors, materials and textures, they gain new insights into the art and the flowers. This conversation provides a new and exciting way to examine and consider art in general.

Villa Fondo Bottaro: Table, Double Herms, Hermaphrodite, interpreted with flowers by the Framingham Garden Club, Inc.

Villa Fondo Bottaro: Table, Double Herms, Hermaphrodite, interpreted with flowers by the Framingham Garden Club, Inc.

I loved looking at the kinds of pieces that the floral designers matched with arrangements — a dress, an amazing bowl, a poster, Greek drinking cups and even selections from a Roman villa were all fair game for floral interpretations.

Calm Morning interpreted with flowers by the Worcester Garden Club

Calm Morning interpreted with flowers by the Worcester Garden Club

I can see the art in bloom movement continue to spread. It could be incorporated as a fun thing to do by other types of clubs, not just garden clubs, and by schools. It doesn’t require original museum pieces. With posters and reproductions, anyone can create florals and relate them to other forms of art. I have heard of some libraries starting to experiment with the concept of “Books in Bloom.” Imagine taking book themes, characters, settings, etc., and interpreting them through flowers.

Drinking Cups (Kylix) interpreted with flowers by the Wellesley Gardeners’ Guild

Drinking Cups (Kylix) interpreted with flowers by the Wellesley Gardeners’ Guild

If the art museum in your area offers an Art in Bloom event, check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

Woman’s Formal Dress and Shawl interpreted with flowers by the Easton Garden Club

Woman’s Formal Dress and Shawl interpreted with flowers by the Easton Garden Club

What famous work of art would you like to see interpreted with flowers?