Bouquets to You . . . At the DeYoung Museum Through Sunday

Floral design at the FAMSA Bouquets to Art exhibition 2015 by Andrea Frenkel of Ukiah, CA. Lily and Mint.  the design complements George DF Brush's 1890 painting "A Celtic Huntress."

Floral design by Andrea Frenkel of Lily and Mint, Ukiah, California, complements George DeForest Brush’s 1890 painting “A Celtic Huntress.” Photo by Barbara Newhall

Round floral arrangement of white carnations by Ricardo Aguilar of VelaFlor,  San Francisco. ceramic sculpture by  Viola Frey, "Man Ob

White — and deep red — carnations capture the texture of a ceramic sculpture by Viola Frey, “Man Observing Series II,” 1984. Floral design by Ricardo Aguilar of VelaFlor, San Francisco. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Just for fun, I’m tossing a few bouquets to you from among the many I spotted at the Bouquets to Art exhibition on Thursday at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Lots of anthuriums and proteas this year. And a gorgeous mystery blossom that I’m hoping you can help identify.

For me, the most enchanting designs are the ones that rely almost entirely on flowers and other vegetation — seed pods, tulip bulbs, cabbages. Andrea Frenkel’s bouquet to the 19th century painting, “A Celtic Huntress,” does this beautifully. The huntress’s hair, dress and fleshy shoulders are captured subtly with living leaves and blossoms.

Unfortunately for me and my preferences, more designers than ever seem to be  relying on strips of metal, sheets of plastic, or sprayed-on metallic paint to make their artistic statements this year. The artificial to natural ratio is creeping up. I wonder why.

If you’ve just gotta see more flowers go to “Point and Shoot Heaven: Photographing a Flower Garden Just Before Dusk”  and “The Downside of Things Beautiful — Mighty Rose to Humble Daisy.”

Large red C-shaped floral arrangement, "Concentrik," by Waterlily Pond Studio welcomes visitors to the Bouquets to Art show at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco.

“Concentrik,” by Waterlily Pond Studio welcomes visitors to the DeYoung. The design includes gloriosas, amaryllises — and 250 pincushion proteas. Photo by Barbara Newhall

"Concentrik" by Waterlily Pond Studio at the DeYoung Museum's Bouquets to Art show 2015 as seen from below. Photo by Barbara Newhall

“Concentrik” from below. Notice the pincushion proteas. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A floral design by Sumi Meta of the Aratame School, San Jose, CA, for the 2015 Bouquets to Art show at the DeYoung Museum San Francisco. inlcuded this red and green anthurium. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Design by Sumi Meta of the Aratame School in San Jose inlcuded these red and green anthuriums. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Foral arrangement by Bonnie Hart  and her assistant Sue Bernheim of Tiburon included a delicate, but unidentified, pale green and yellow blossom. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Can you identify this flower? It was part of a design by Bonnie Hart and her assistant Sue Bernheim of Tiburon. Photo by Barbara Newhall




  1. Hi Barbara,
    Thank you so much for featuring my piece on your blog! What a compliment. I too wanted to use more fresh flowers rather than focusing on a structure that would last. Unfortunately the setting of the museum can make this difficult, but it is a fun challenge. My piece has peach tulips, a variety of fern such as umbrella fern, ti leaves, poppy pods, kangaroo paws (the red colored ones), calla lily, and green dianthus (the ones that looked like grass balls). I made the vase by attaching and painting stones and then adding fake moss, as they don’t allow real moss. Thanks again for featuring me! -Andrea

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