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.

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