February 27, 2006
When the Museum
of Fine Arts
first decked its halls with blossoms in 1976, its
purpose was to entice a broader spectrum of visitors. Three decades later, the
MFA's annual Art in Bloom
festival has become international in
scope, luring some of the world's top artists and as many as 25,000 guests.
Art in Bloom is an original concept. Each spring, pieces are chosen from the
museum's permanent collection to be interpreted into floral arrangements by
artists selected from New England-area garden clubs. "It started here in Boston
and has been replicated almost the world over in different museums and art
associations," says MFA associate chair Molly Nye.
This year, 70 works are on view to the public (free with museum admission) on
April 24 and 25
. The featured items encompass an array of
periods, cultures and media, aiming to sate those with aesthetic thirsts for
ancient pottery and modern sculpture alike. "There is a wide range of choices,"
says Nye, "from ceramics to furniture, paintings and jewelry." The goal, Nye
explains, is to introduce visitors to the permanent collection's rarely viewed
pieces. "No selected object should have been used within the last five years,"
In order to help visitors navigate between exhibits, the displays are
categorized into six different thematic guided tours, which are held
continuously each day from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Tour motifs include an
"around the world" exploration of European, African and ancient American art, a
"classical tour" focused on Nubian and classical Greek works, and a European
tour, which highlights such masterpieces as the MFA's signature Dance at
In addition to these main displays, the museum is hosting a series of workshops
and lectures by internationally renowned designers like New England-born
furniture craftsman Jack DeMuth and English textile artist Verina Warren. Other
events include informal flower arranging workshops, performances by local
musicians and an April 24 open house. As Nye puts it, "It will all be creative
and exciting to see-very grand." Refer to listing
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