date published: 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," she says.

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 Bougival by Renoir.
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.

back to homepage