With black component, Bouquets to Art exhibit excels

Poppy Petalworks’ floral arrangement is paired with Kara Walker’s “Resurrection Story with Patrons,” a new African American acquisition for the de Young Museum’s permanent collection. Photo by Woody Weingarten.

I’ve attended the annual Bouquets to Art with my wife for years — ever since she convinced me real men not only do eat quiche but also relish flowers.

But this year’s exhibit pairing creations by more than 120 floral designers with works of the de Young Museum’s permanent collection is the best I’ve seen.

And, by far, the most interesting.


Installations are more imaginative than ever. A greater variety of supporting materials better showcase the flowers. And a healthy chunk of this year’s display is linked to a significant theme — Revelations: Art from the African American South.

That segment — dealing with slavery, segregation and civil rights — celebrates the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco having acquired 62 works by 22 black artists born in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Those objects, a plaque accompanying the exhibit correctly notes, are “powerful testaments to African American culture continuity, resistance, and survival.”

Mort and Virginia Linden of Inverness are among the more intriguingly clad opening day visitors at annual Bouquets to Art. Photo by Woody Weingarten.

This is Bouquets to Art’s 34th year. It drew more than 800,000 visitors the first 33.

I’d strongly recommend that you raise this year’s total by one — you.

Aerial installation, “The Traveling Mind,” greets Wilsey Court visitors to the de Young Museum’s annual Bouquets to Art exhibit in San Francisco. Photo by Woody Weingarten.

“Bouquets to Arts” runs through March 18 at the de Young, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive at John F. Kennedy Drive, in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Tickets: Free for members, $28 adults, $25 seniors (over 65), $19 students, $13 youths (6-17), free for children under 5. Information: (415) 750-3600 or contact@famsf.org.

 Contact Woody Weingarten at www.vitalitypress.com or voodee@sbcglobal.net.

About the Author

Woody WeingartenWoody Weingarten, who can be reached at www.vitalitypress.com/ or voodee@sbcglobal.net, can’t remember when he couldn’t talk — or play with words. His first poem was published in high school but when his hormones announced the arrival of adulthood, he figured he’d rather eat than rhyme. So he switched to journalism. And whadda ya know, the bearded, bespectacled fella has used big, small and hyphenated words professionally since jumpstarting his career in New Yawk City more than 60 years ago. Today the author of the book “Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner’s breast cancer” is also a reviewer-critic, blogger and publisher — despite allegedly being retired. During his better-paid years as a wage slave he was an executive editor and writer for daily and weekly publications in California, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. He won writing awards for public service and investigation, features, columns, editorials and news. Woody also has published weekly and monthly newspapers, and written a national column for “Audio” magazine. A graduate of Colgate University, he owned a public relations/ad agency and managed an advertising publication. The father of two and grandfather of three, he and his wife, Nancy Fox, have lived in San Anselmo in Marin County for three decades. He figures they'll stay.View all posts by Woody Weingarten →