Bouquets to Art 2016

Bouquets to Art.  What a novel idea!  Flower bouquets that mimic paintings and works of art in the permanent collection at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.  Every year I plan on going to this talked about exhibition, but something always takes precedent, and I end up not making it.  But this year I put it on my calendar 2 months in advance so as not to miss it, and I finally made it!


Every spring, the de Young Museum in San Francisco invites renowned Bay Area florists to come and create floral bouquets that take inspiration from select paintings and works of art in the museum.


This exhibition only goes on for 1 week – these are fresh flowers we are talking about, and they don’t last long no matter how good a professional florist you are. This year the Bouquets to Art exhibition was held from Tuesday, April 5 – Sunday, April 10, with a preview night for members on Monday, April 4th.


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We headed out on a Wednesday morning to San Francisco and got to the event at 10am.  I asked my friend Rose if she would like to join me to see this exhibition, and she graciously agreed to accompany me.


Wow, wow, wow!  Seriously, I have never seen such stunning display of floral arrangements. In all colors of the rainbow, in all textures, sizes, leaves, twigs, branches; all from nature with flowers, flowers, everywhere!  For a flower, twigs, and branches lover like me, it was like being in flower heaven.



I thought this would be an exhibition of floral arrangements in one gallery at the most.  But what I saw blew me away.  The entire 2nd floor of the de Young Museum’s permanent art collection is transformed into an artist’s bouquet.  I couldn’t believe it.  This was a huge exhibition!  And the first floor permanent exhibit of Native American Gallery and Modern Art Gallery were also filled with bouquets.  There must have been over 300, maybe upto 500 floral arrangements on display at this exhibition!



This floral exhibition has been going on for over 34 years, and word has spread.  There were lots and lots of people here to see these floral arrangements.  It was hot in some galleries with the large number of people there.  We had to elbow our way to see the arrangements on display.  People were bumping into each other, but we all apologized with a smile and continued to appreciate the floral displays.  I guess that’s the power of flowers and nature – even when you are in a crowd and being jostled around, looking at the flowers puts you in a good mood.



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An interesting observation we made about these arrangements.  Most of the floral displays were made with flowers we are familiar with like orchids, roses, carnations, calla lilies, mums, bird of paradise, lilies, ranunculus, iceland poppy, peonies, and tulips. The creativity came in how the artist used these flowers to create their floral arrangements.

Chair Inspiration for Floral Displays
Floral Chair
Notice the little chairs in the arrangement?



Some floral arrangements were very close renditions of the artwork.



See the yellow car in the painting?
Floral representation of the yellow car.

While other arrangements took some guessing.  But this is what made it a fun experience.  We would compare notes with other guests and take turns guessing which art piece the floral arrangement was depicting.

Bread and wine


Salmon catch in a cooler


All sorts of branches such as flowering cherry blossom branches, dogwood branches, apricot tree branches, branches with lichen, and bamboo were used in a few of the arrangements.



One of the most creative use of plants came from succulents.  It was wonderful to see how succulent leaves and succulents themselves can be used in floral arrangements.





Check it out ladies.  They even had jewelry made from succulents.  And that too in the ladies restroom of all places.  Very cool!


In general the people attending this exhibition are in a good mood, relaxed, and very friendly.  We talked to people who drove over 2 hours to attend this amazing exhibition.




I took over 100 photos, obviously way too many to post here.  I have chosen our favorite floral art interpretations to share with you in this article.  Here are some more pics. See if you can notice the resemblance between the actual artwork and the floral rendition of that art piece.



Inspiration for the floral rendition below






This is one exhibition that was well worth the wait and lived up to the hype.  Now that I know what to expect, I hope to go again next year with a few more of my friends 🙂 🙂 🙂




7 thoughts on “Bouquets to Art 2016”

  1. Kalpana, Your post on your outing with Rose to the de Young Museum and the photos of the exhibition of Bouquets of Art are simply stunning and fabulous. Filoli had the Floral arrangement
    exhibition from different countries two years ago for Mothers Day! Thanks for sharing.
    😊 Devi

  2. Kalpana Sheth A wonderful blogger with her Surrey – writes on a wide range of interesting topics from Floral Art to Fashion Trends … Illustrations are amazing with fabulous photos … She is so loving and giving just like her Mom and her aunts . Vinatha Mami

  3. What a feast for the eyes!
    How beautifully done! Jewelry out of succulents is such novel idea!
    Thanks to digital photography!
    Otherwise you would spend time in changing film rolls for all the pictures you have taken!
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Such a fun outing it was!! Kalpana, thanks for letting me tag along – Bouquets de Arts did not disappoint- will definitely go back! Your photos are amazing (as ever); your review just as rich – outstanding overall! ❌⭕️

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