By Barbara Falconer Newhall
It’s not too late to catch a bus – or a plane – and head out to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for the annual Bouquets to Art show at the de Young museum.*
There you’ll find moon cactuses passing themselves off as petite fours, and poppies doing a dance with a spatter painting by Sam Francis.
Artichokes, orchids, sea fans, thistles, pussy willows – nothing botanical lies outside the imagination of the 130-plus floral designers displaying their work at the de Young this week. If lush red berries bursting from a ball of cork can be called a bouquet, that is. Or multi-colored sea fans poking out from behind clusters of protea blossoms.
The de Young was jammed Tuesday morning as aficionados of floral art packed into the place for the first day of the five-day show – when the flowers are at their freshest.
(Tip: the museum was way less crowded around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, when all those eager early birds had taken their sore feet and aching backs home.)
As per tradition, each floral arrangement in the Bouquets to Art exhibition plays off a work of art in the museum’s collection – from Mexico’s saintly Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners, to
a lavish 17th and 18th century silver tea service.
Bouquets to Art, de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, through Saturday, March 23.
* PS: You can drive to the de Young, but museum parking is expensive and street parking hard to find. Still, one of my favorite things about the de Young is the terrific glimpse you get of the museum’s copper-clad walls as you enter the lot from Fulton Street at 10th Avenue — almost worth the 25 bucks I paid for mid-morning to late afternoon parking on Tuesday.