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Art Is in Dazzling Bloom at Saint Louis Art Museum
Acrobats by Max Beckmann, was interpreted with a stunning floral arrangement by Deb Feltes using snapdragons, solidago, lilies, carnations, coco spath pods, bamboo and various greenery.

Art Is in Dazzling Bloom at Saint Louis Art Museum
A dazzling floral arrangement by Harriette Warren interprets a painting "The Little Mountain Goats" by Franz Marc, using golden mini calla lily, red and pink ginger, bird of paradise, gloriosa lily, royal blue delphinium, lime green cymbidium orchid, and ti and hala leaves.
Art Is in Dazzling Bloom at Saint Louis Art Museum
(L - R) Museum docent Judith Garfinkel explained the connection between the elegant arrangement by Ivy Baebler and the painting, Sadak in Search of the Water of Oblivion, by John Martin, to Eliette and her mother Isabella Pebay, who was visiting from France.
Art Is in Dazzling Bloom at Saint Louis Art Museum
Floral design instructor Medelyn Hucker based her artistic floral arrangement of To Cover the Earth with a New Dew by Roberto Matta, with helconias, ginger, orchids, croton, assorted greenery and dried plant material surrounding a porceline ball that changed colors.
UPDATE: Final day of Art in Bloom Festivities have been canceled. Saint Louis Art Museum is closed Sunday due to accumulation of sleet and ice.

Art in Dazzling Bloom at
Saint Louis Art Museum

by Betty Moore,
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, February 27, 2014 - After an hiatus of five years, the Art in Bloom festival has returned to the Saint Louis Art Museum with a dazzling and often mysterious array of floral interpretations of 31 works of art from the Museum's vast collection.

During a preview tour on Thursday morning, I encountered Museum docent Judith Garfinkel in Gallery 205, where she was explaining the connection between the arrangement by Ivy Baebler and the painting, Sadak in Search of the Water of Oblivion, by John Martin, to Eliette and her mother Isabella Pebay, who was visiting from France.

In a quiet conversation, Garfinkel, who has been docent for 50 years, commented that 'Art in Bloom' brings people to the Museum who are not normally oriented to art. "A lot of people are garden and flower oriented. So, we get thousands of people who come and then return because they discover that art really isn't as intimidating as they might have thought," she smiled.

She related a personal experience from years ago while visiting the 'Art in Bloom' festival in Minneapolis. "I don't normally pay much attention to religious paintings, but there was this wonderful arrangement of Calla Lilies that brought me to it and so I looked at the painting in a different way."

"This is a painting of a fairytale come to life," said Garfinkel pointing to the large painting of Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion, by John Martin in Gallery 205. The elegant floral arrangement by Ivy Baebler, interpreted the painting using red anthurium, white gyposphila, lilies and lisianthus, dark red/orange alstroemeria, mums, dark pink, pampus grass and seeds on broomgrass.

Many floral designers were still assembling their arrangements or adding final touches for the judges to review later in the day.

In Gallery 215, designer Jane Merkle was busy placing florals in an earthen vase to interpret Indian and Woman, by Max Pechstein. "This is a learning experience," explained Merkle, as she gently unfolded the petals of the bird of paradise. The final arrangement included sunflower, eucalyptus, orange-red carnations and Free Spirit yellow-red rose.

It was an enjoyable experience to see the Museum's art collection come alive through the eyes of local floral designers, whose inspiring arrangements may encourage future generations of young artists to view art through flowers.

Notes on the Festival:
Visitors will find arrangements on all levels throughout the Museum in both the Main and the new East Buildings. A guide is available to help locate the beautiful displays, as well as a ballot to vote for your favorite during the festival, which opens Friday, February 28, and runs through March 2.

Art in Bloom features a robust program schedule that includes lectures by Judith Farr, the set designer for Downton Abbey, interior designer and television host David Bromstad and artist Isabella Kirkland.

In addition to lectures, visitors can attend hands-on workshops led by floral designers and a two-hour master class taught by Jane Winter, owner of Wildflowers in St. Louis' historic Floral Row.

Sunday, March 2 is Art in Bloom Family Day. Children can enjoy free, hands-on art activities, a scavenger hunt in the galleries and a live production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by the Imaginary Theatre Company, a professional ensemble of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

The museum opens to the public every day of Art in Bloom at 10 a.m. On Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1, the festival will remain open until 9 p.m. for Flowers After Hours, a free evening celebration featuring live piano music in Sculpture Hall, as well as cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres available for purchase from a cash bar.

Art in Bloom closes at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 2. Admission to the Saint Louis Art Museum and Art in Bloom is free, and tickets are not required to attend the festival and view floral displays. Tickets should be purchased in advance for select programs, including lectures, demonstrations and classes.

Program tickets may be purchased through MetroTix at or by phone at 314-534-1111. A service fee will be charged. Tickets, which vary by program, may also be purchased in person at the Museum's Information Center without a service fee.

Art Is in Dazzling Bloom at Saint Louis Art Museum
(L - R) Floral designer Sophie Connor added final touches to her whimsical arrangement based on Pedestal Clock by Jeanne Godde, using acacia, Asian lilies, calla lilies, dried allium, Fuji mums, gold star rose, manzanita wood and snapdragons. Floral designer Jane Merkle placed bird of paradise in an earthen vase, along with sunflower, eucalyptus, orange-red carnations and Free Spirit yellow-red rose, to interpret Indian and Woman, by Max Pechstein. A floral arrangement based on Grey Space (distractor) by Julie Mehretu, is interpreted by Alice Koritta using red, white, and yellow spray mini carnations, white and dark zantedeschia callas, gypsophila, eryngium, aspidistra, and philodendron. Photos by bob Moore,

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Saint Louis Art Museum Opens East Building
The East Building, designed by Sir David Chipperfield, at the Saint Louis Art Museum, features floor-to-ceiling windows and 23 monumental panels of dark polished concrete, with highlights of Missouri river aggregates. See related story: Saint Louis Art Museum Unveils Contemporary East Building

Crusader King Louis IX, Saint Louis, Missouri
Crusader King Louis IX in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum
The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the leading art museums with more than 100 galleries. The building was designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert as the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1904 World's Fair in Forest Park. Standing atop Art Hill, it is the "crown" jewel" of the 1,370-acre park. The Grand Basin is the lake at the foot of Art Hill and served as the focal point of the 1904 World's Fair.

The Museum's collections feature more than 30,000 art treasures from ancient times to the present. Highlights include art of the Renaissance, masterpieces of Impressionism, American European Art, Asian art, Period Rooms, the Egyptian mummy, and world-renowned collections of pre-Columbian and German Expressionist art.

The Museum provided $10 million for improvements to Art Hill and nearby areas including: reconstruction of Fine Arts Drive in the front of the Museum between the front stairway and the statue of St. Louis; the street and the area around the landmark statue is now paved with granite; construction of two curved, tree-lined walkways, or promenades, extending about 250 yards in each direction from the statue of St. Louis to the existing circular parking areas; construction of scenic overlooks near the expanded circular parking areas; landscaping of the two promenades and of the entire area with ornamental trees and decorative lighting; and new parking adjacent to the scenic overlooks.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Friday, 10:00 am-9:00 pm; Closed Monday. For more information, call 314-721-0072. Admission to the Saint Louis Art Museum is free. Admission to featured exhibitions is free on Friday.

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Red DotSaint Louis Art Museum Unveils Contemporary East Building
Red DotSaint Louis Art Museum Sets Date for Grand Opening of Expansion
Red DotSaint Louis Art Museum Presents a New View of 18 Galleries
Red DotSaint Louis Art Museum Marks One Year on Major Expansion
Red DotSaint Louis Art Museum Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremonies for Its Ambitious Expansion

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