Spanish-Themed ‘Bouquets to Art 2011’ Opens at the de Young, Looks Forward to Balenciaga Exhibit



At this moment the best floral designers in the Bay Area are assembling dazzling arrangements behind closed doors at the de Young Museum, readying for the opening of a Spanish-themed Bouquets to Art 2011. To call the creations “bouquets” is a misnomer; many of them are themselves sculptural artwork.


To be fully transparent, I must tell you that I’ve volunteered for this event and worked for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. But, honestly, I can put all that history aside to say that this is one of the most fantastic design events of the year.

The premise is simple: floral designers create arrangements inspired by artwork in the de Young’s collection. This year, since the highly anticipated exhibition Balenciaga and Spain opens March 26, the event celebrates Cristobal Balenciaga’s home country.

Nothing compares to entering the museum during the five-day run of Bouquets to Art, because the fragrance generated by more than 150 floral arrangements is an instant transport to a spring frame of mind.

Arrangements are stationed near their inspirations, and part of the fun is seeing how the floral designer sees the art. Their interpretations cause viewers to notice details they’ve missed before, even in paintings viewed many times.

The event also brings in a roster of national and international floral experts (Shane Connolly, Kate Berry and the Rev. William McMillan among them) who present entertaining design lectures. I always attend at least one, and it inspires me to fill the house with flowers for weeks afterwards.

Tickets are available for tonight’s gala at the door. Lectures, luncheons and teas are planned through March 19, check for schedules, information and to pre-purchase tickets.


More news: