Posted by: marymarthatours | April 26, 2013


Spring is late arriving in Minnesota this year.  In fact, the last of the snow in my backyard didn’t disappear until April 24th.  But regardless of the weather, one event in Minnesota always announces that Spring is here – the annual ART IN BLOOM spectacular at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.


Floral bouquet at entry to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

For 30 years, the Friends of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts have sponsored this combination of beautiful floral arrangements and timeless art.  This year 159 floral designers chose a piece from the museum’s permanent collection to use as the inspiration for their creative interpretations.  The floral “artwork” is then displayed next to its inspiration piece.


“The Fishing Party Off Long Island” by Junius Stearns; flowers by Karen Harrison


“Flight of Night” by Paul Manship; flowers by Britta Wilson

I love the way the floral artists use color, texture, unique containers, and many varieties of flowers, leaves, twigs, herbs, and grasses to create arrangements that compliment the art.  Some arrangements are very literal in their approach while others are more symbolic; some are lavish while others are minimalist.  Some are just funky and fun.


“Billboard” byGrace Hartigan; flowers by Hennepin Technical College


“Sun Mask”, unknown artist; flowers by Mary Donovan & Julia Mullin


“Sound Suit” by Nick Cave; flowers by Joan Hawk

In prior years’ visits to ART IN BLOOM, I tended to focus on the displays in the painting galleries.  This year I found that I especially enjoyed the works that had used sculpture and even fabric art for the basis of their interpretation, as done by Jean Kochevar and Mary Kay & Don Woessner for this Native American shirt.


DSCN4413   DSCN4412  

The use of bonsai next to Japanese prints was especially lovely.


“Uji Bridge”, unknown artist; bonsai by Bruce Anderson

Here are a few more of my favorites.


“Mythic Hawk” by Rick Bartow; flowers by Phyllis Andrews & Erin Malody


“Section of a Frieze” by George Elmslie; flowers by Mary Dahlberg Johnson & Patricia Foulkes


“The Little Servant Girl” by Amedeo Modigliani; flowers by Linda Callan


“Portrait Sculpture of Priest Gyoki”, artist unknown; flowers by Leach Schmidt

ART IN BLOOM 2013 runs through Sunday, April 28th.  Admission is free.  If you’re in the area, take this opportunity to get an early spring “flower fix”.

(by Mary)




  1. Loved seeing your photos, Mary…I wasn’t able to go this year but feel like I saw it through your eyes! Thanks for sharing…

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