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  • Flora in Winter 2007

    Interpretive Floral Designs in the Galleries

    (Click on thumbnails for larger view)

    First Floor

    TREE OF JESSE, German,
    Mary Fletcher, Worcester Garden Club
    The old, carved wood of Tree Of Jesse drew me in immediately because I have always loved bare branches, and one of my favorite colors is brown. The appeal for me is the form the branches create by defining a space that remains open, imparting an airiness even against the brown wood of the panel. My delight at arranging mainly with branches may be offset by the challenges of interpreting a horizontal design! Still, working with a monochromatic palette will be fun, and I hope to address the carved figures by layering plant material, adding some texture and softness.


    PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Roman,
    Mary A. Lord, Dublin New Hampshire Garden Club, Weston Garden Club
    The statuesque portrait is a figure of grace and dignity. One wonders what thoughts are behind her pensive, almost penetrating gaze. Just as her hand is revealed underneath the light cloth, so too a strong inner life lies within the human form. The sinuous lines of fabric and flowing lines of hair contrast the upright and solid figure. The texture of the skin seems particularly smooth against the rougher cloth. The floral arrangement seeks to pay homage to the artistic intention, using materials that reveal the contrasts of design elements.



    PLATE, Persian, Kashan “monumental style”,
    Thelma H. Shoneman, Acton Garden Club
    I chose to interpret this beautiful example of Rhages Ware created in Persia because I am fascinated by the history that is revealed through these archaeological discoveries. In my floral interpretation, a twisted branch of Harry Lauder’s walking stick, framed by a metal ring, suggests the irregular oval shapes of the ancient design. The flowers suggest the primitive figures within the ovals. The earth tones unify the design.


    STORAGE JAR, Japanese, middle Jomon period,
    Beverly McClure, Independent
    I chose this wonderful Japanese Storage Jar for its interesting lines and shapes. My intent is to not only communicate these shapes with flowers, but also to inspire the viewer to think about the colorful and varied contents that may have been stored within.



    HORSE, Tang Dynasty,
    Ann Hanscom/Cecelia Henderson, Blackstone Valley Gardeners
    Heretofore a simple peasant beast, The now-ennobled charger, elevated icon of the scholar, Rises from their earthly tomb; Ascends to lightness, all undying. Accompanied by Three Friends of Winter, Steadfast seeds of continuity, auspicious flowers of immortality, Gentleman and mount together transcend the grave, And pass into the elemental.



    CAT, Egyptian, Saite,
    Kenneth J. Bositis, Independent
    I liked the smooth sleek lines and the regal upright stance of this perfectly poised feline. Also, I am fond of cats.


    Second Floor

    AT THE MIRROR, Lovis Corinth, Katharine Michie, Worcester Garden Club
    The elements of design, whether in a painting or a flower arrangement are the same - movement, balance, rhythm, contrast, texture. Upon seeing At the Mirror, I was reminded of how exciting these shared artistic components can be. I hope that I have shared with you some of the same excitement, and that you can find a connection between the flowers and the paint.



    SLEEPING ENDYMION, Nicolas-Guy Brenet,
    Kaye B. Vosburgh, Garden Club of Back Bay, Noanett Garden Club, Sogetsu & Ikebana International
    The rhythm of the central angular figure appealed to me. The soft colors create a contrasting background to the strong visual movement. How to convey the restfulness of the figure is a challenge.



    PORTRAIT OF SARAH AND ANN HADEN, Joseph Wright of Derby,
    Susan B. Dewey, Worcester Garden Club, Osterville Garden Club
    For this touching, delicately wrought 1700s’ portrait of two sisters by the English Romantic painter Joseph Wright of Derby, I have chosen Baby’s Breath, lilies and roses to capture the sisters’ gentle beauty, purity and innocence. To convey the closeness and protective intimacy of the sisters’ relationship, I have wrapped the arrangement in vines.



    THE BAKER, Job Adriaensz Berckheyde,
    Lois Frampton, The Garden Club of Harvard, Lincoln Garden Club
    The colors used in this painting are the tans and muted browns that one associates with wheat and flour. I selected it because I enjoy baking bread. This design is a real challenge because the tones of the blue-green jacket, the dull green walls, and the bread itself, are not those commonly found in floral material.



    PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG NOBLEWOMAN,Unknown Artist of the School of Madrid,
    Kae Collins, Independent
    Both the subject and the artist of this painting remain something of a mystery. Despite the stiff lines in which the painter clothed her, our subject retains an air of softnesss and vulnerability. It is my hope to capture the boldness of color and form that clothes her while keeping a sense of the fragility of the young woman within.



    THE VISION OF SAINT IGNATIUS AT LA STORTA, Giovanni Battista Gaulli,
    Michele Creamer/Sandra Tosches, Greanleaf Garden Club of Milford
    Giovanni Battista Gaulli captures a feeling of awe and joy with his use of vibrant color in an explosion of spiritual movement. The viewer’s eye is drawn from earth to the heavens as the resurrected is guided by angels into the open arms of his maker. This floral design has been created to lift the spirits of the viewer to new heights.



    THE REPENTANT MAGDALEN, El Greco,
    Joan Moreschi, Shrewsbury Garden Club
    For me, no trip to the museum is ever complete without viewing The Repentant Magdalen by El Greco. The shades of blue and the look on her face inspire so many thoughts. I wanted to capture the colors and mood of the painting with flowers, the medium I love.



    PORTRAIT OF AN ECCLESIASTIC, Attributed to Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio,
    Cathy Walsh, Independent
    This expressive design using interesting mechanics and floral materials tries to give a modern interpretation of this ancient work of art.



    SAINT ROCH AND AN ANGEL, Upper Rhenish Master, German,
    Sandra E. Delbridge, Hopkinton Garden Club
    I chose this piece because it reminds me of my religious background, especially the emphasis placed on angels. I believe we all have angels watching over us. I also liked the use of strong color contrast, conveying the purity of the white angel and the darkness embodied in the human form of St. Roch. It reminds me that while trying to be good, people will always have a dark side because of the existence of free will.


    Third Floor

    MRS. ELIZABETH FREAKE AND BABY MARY, American,
    Kim Cutler, Worcester Garden Club
    Inspired by a contemporary flower arranging presentation, I resisted the temptation to do a traditional design with yellow roses. Instead, I created parallel arrangements referring to the portrait’s mother and child. The lace doilies behind the flowers echo the sitters’ collars. I also attempted to capture their stiff pride and dignity. I wish to thank my husband for making my design’s walnut base.


    THE PEACEABLE KINGDOM, Edward Hicks,
    Diane Dalton, Chestnut Hill Garden Club
    In this whimsical arrangement, I tried to capture the colorful simplicity and warmth of The Peaceable Kingdom by using natural materials.



    SUONATORE, John Lafarge,
    Sally E. Jablonski, Independent
    The beautiful peach and green colors of the Suonatore wax study inspired me to choose this artwork. I hope to interpret this piece of art with my own study of natural peach and green flowers, creating a feeling of music in the air.



    I HAVE NO SHADOW, Kay Sage
    Virginia C. Orlando, Independent
    I was drawn to the piece by the contrasting play of light and dark. It seemed a challenge to convey the simplicity of the painting with floral interpretation.


    VASE, Louis Comfort Tiffany
    Minal Akkad, Framingham Garden Club
    When I saw this piece of art my eyes immediately stopped on the peacock feather, which reminded me of Lord Krishna. Each Hindu deity or incarnation of God has his or her own distinctive iconography, usually expressing some aspect of the special nature of that deity. Lord Krishna wears a peacock feather as a reminder of his mischief and play. My devotion to Lord Krishna is what led me to select this piece of art for my floral arrangement.


    Fourth Floor

    PROMENADE NO. 3, Charles Prendergast
    Robin Whitney, Worcester Garden Club
    This is a joyful “promenade”—perhaps these ladies are off to a festival bearing food, drink, and cymbals, accompanied by fanciful animals. We don’t know where they are going, but I bet they will kick up their bare feet when they get there! This imaginative panel brims with color, rhythm, and Charles Prendergast’s signature gold decoration.



    BLACK LIGHT, Hans Hofmann
    Sarah Pettit, Worcester Garden Club
    Hans Hofmann’s use of lines, shapes, color, squiggles and space suggests an arrangement of few flowers to accent his use of negative and positive spaces. The negative space is represented by the black container, wire and sticks woven through the design. The positive space is represented by the white and colored flowers.


    Due to circumstances beyond our control not all floral arrangement images are available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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