Bouquets to Art 2013


Last month I visited 29th annual flower exhibition Bouquets to Art 2013 at the San Francisco Fine Art Museum de Young. Compared to the last year’s exhibition I had a feeling there were slightly less presenters and at least as many visitors if not more, which was a disappointment since we went to a members only evening viewing.

While we were there I thought that this year’s arrangements were less interesting than those from the last year’s event but later at home going through all the pictures I changed my mind. Both years there were more and less artistic interpretations, direct floral reproductions and just abstract bouquets vaguely matching the assigned art piece.

First I’ll show you several bouquets for the same paintings as I showed last year:

Oranges And Paper 2013

Oranges in Tissue Paper, William J. McCloskey

Weaver 2013

Weaver, N. Oliveira

Chihuly 2013

Ultramarine Stemmed Form with Orange, Chihuly

What year do you like more?

The compositions I haven’t shown in 2012 post and their counterparts from 2013 (click on each image to enlarge):



Some abstract painting

Abstract1 2012 Abstract1 2013

Inukshuk (“like a person”), Judas Ullulaq

Yua Spirit 2012 Yua Spirit 2013

California Spring, Albert Bierstadt

California Spring Albert Bierstadt 2012 California Spring Albert Bierstadt 2013

Lady in Black with Spanish Scarf, Robert Henri

Lady In Black 2012 Lady In Black 2013

The Niagara River at the Cataract, Gustav Grunewald

Waterfall 2012 Waterfall 2013

Woman in White Dress, Eastman Johnson

Woman In White Dress 2012 Woman In White Dress 2013

The Blue Veil, Edmund Charles Tarbell

The Blue Veil 2012 The Blue Veil 2013


Spring 2012 Spring 2013


Last year I also offered a puzzle – matching a bouquet to one of two paintings. This year I decided to make it slightly harder: two out of four compositions below are this year’s take on the same paintings I showed in the post Bouquet to Art 2012: Craft Imitates Art.

Bouquet 1

Bouquet 1

Bouquet 2

Bouquet 2

Bouquet 3

Bouquet 3

Bouquet 4

Bouquet 4

Can you tell which one goes with which art piece from the last year’s post? (You can either number pictures in the original post going from the top or use the name you can see if you hover over pictures there.)


Images: my own.


25 thoughts on “Bouquets to Art 2013

  1. Hi Undina, mistress of difficult questions. Well, I looked and looked, and still I don’t feel confident of my answer, but here it is anyway:

    Bouquet 2: John Singleton Copley’s painting of Mrs. Daniel Sargent.

    Bouquet 4: Gottfried Helnwein’s, Ephiphany II.

    As to your (much easier) question as to which year’s bouquets does the reader like more, this reader likes the 2013 bouquets. They seems to have more verve and more whimsy overall … plus I love the bouquet with the white and yellow tulips. It’s not the most creative bouquet, but it’s such a burst of happiness to look at. <3


    • Hi Suzanne,
      I didn’t mean it to be difficult but judging by the less than usual rate of responses I overestimated my readers’ interest in puzzles. You know how it happens sometimes when you like something and think that everybody else should to. Oh well :)
      The more I’m greatful for your input. Thank you for playing along. I’ll give it a couple of days more – just in case anybody else wants to play – and then post the answer (with pictures).


    • Thank you, Ines! I was trying to be objective and to choose good bouquets for both years. There were also good arrangements without counterparts in one of the years.


  2. Dear Undina
    I won’t even hazard a guess at the matches as I have every confidence in my skills of visual perception not being up to the challenge!
    As to the preferred year, I will go with 2012, mainly for the wonderful red head in the first picture and because I’m not terribly keen on this year’s rendering of number one… would be fine at a wedding but an art show?
    Thanks for the wonderful snaps and braving the crowds on our behalf.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy


    • Dear Dandy,
      Reading your answer I realized that I should have posted captions (in addition to the hover over text) for each picture because with that many arrangements in two posts it’s not that easy to follow :) But I’ll try.

      If you’re talking about the Lady in Black (“the wonderful red head”), that composition last year was the cover picture for the exhibition. And I also thought that this year’s one was less interesting.


  3. It’s 4am so I won’t even try to guess…..but I must say that both years are visually stunning! However, since you ask a preference I will go with 2013.


  4. Hmm…… I’m so conflicted! LOL. I’ve spent a large amount of time going back and forth between the posts and photos, and I’m still a bit undecided. I think, however, I will go with 2012 only because that year’s interpretation of the Chihuly’s glass blue/orange/yellow piece was gorgeous. It definitely caught my eye the most. I also liked the first 2012 painting bouquet featuring the rather Flemish, 17th Century (?) portrait of the woman matched by the cream roses and pearls.

    As for the 2013 bouquets, I like the one featuring the Birds of Paradise tropical spray and Bouquet #3’s dark, red roses (which are very eye-catching). I couldn’t begin to say which artists they would go with, except for one piece you didn’t ask about. In the side-by-side 2012/2013 comparisons, the un-numbered sculptural looking piece 4th down looks like it would go with a John Singer Sargent painting. (Love Sargent! That painting in the back looks a bit like the style of his “Madame X.”) The 2012 standing bouquet is another reason why I go with 2012 over 2013. In terms of the numbered ones, Bouquet #4 evokes a modernistic sculpture for me. (I’m undoubtedly mistaken, though. lol)


    • Kafka, thank you for playing! :)
      I think that many of Chihuly’s pieces are just perfect for this task of re-interpreting them with flowers.

      It looks like you like Birds of Paradise – you mentioned two compositions with that flower. If to look at #1 (for both years), my personal feeling is that flower arrangements are more interesting than the “art” they represent. But maybe it’s just me: I do not value that type of art.

      If I’ve deciphered your references correctly (I have to give those pictures captions! :) ), you’re talking about The Lady In Black with Spanish Scarf by Robert Henri. It’s in the same gallery (from the same period) as a couple of Sargent’s paintings so you aren’t too far.

      And I agree about Bouquet #4, I had similar thoughts when I saw it. But come back for the answers soon.


      • Duh to me about scrolling over the untitled/un-numbered photos, despite your comment to that effect in the post. I thought it applied only to the 4 Question photos. (Yes, I do need more sleep. Or more coffee. lol) Yes, it is The Lady in Black painting. Thank you for the additional details. The overlap or similarity to Sargent’s paintings was perplexing me since it was clearly NOT Sargent but the style/era was similar.

        I do seem to like Birds of Paradise, but I share your feelings about the arrangements -vs- the art pieces in #1. It’s not to my personal taste, either, though I do like some abstract art. Just not that one, it seems. LOL.

        I look forward to the answers on the numbered pieces. :) Thank you, as always, for a thought-provoking twist on things and for the chance to see things (whether art, flowers, perfumes, or perfumes and shoes) in a very different light. xoxoxo


  5. I prefer 2013, with the exception of The Blue Veil and The Niagara River, where I prefer 2012.

    Regarding your puzzle, I reckon Bouquet 3 is in the room with the parquet flooring in place of the woven basket style picture in front of a painting of an African person?

    And Bouquet 4 is in the room with the b/w photo of a mother and baby?

    I could have answered the puzzle with much more certainty for the Oranges in Tissue paper, hehe.


    • I was also thinking that the waterfall composition of 2012 was more subtle and less straightforward.

      I’ll reveal the answers on Monday but I want to mention now that the black and white piece is a painting not a photo.


  6. You take nice pictures, Undina! The Macy’s flower show pales by comparison to this.

    Overall, I like 2013 better — the bouquets look more vibrant. The exceptions are — 2012 California Spring and 2012 Blue Veil look better than their 2013 counterparts.

    As to the puzzle, I think Bouquet 4 goes with Epiphany II and Bouquet 2 goes with Winter’s Festival.


    • Thank you, hajusuuri! I wanted to share what I saw.

      California Spring of 2012 was one of the compositions about which I complained last year: “… there were very creative inspirational compositions as well as very literal recreations of the art pieces (including a bucolic scene with a toy size cow …)” so I also liked more 2013 take.


  7. You ask tough questions. :) The only connections I can see are Bouquet 4 going with Epiphany II (strong connection, maybe?), and Bouquet 1 going with the Red Figure (I think that is its name).

    I liked some of the bouquets from each year, but can’t say which year I liked better. I do think this year’s bouquet for the Blue Veil is my favorite of all, although I do love the one from last year that represented Mrs. Sargent. It’s so overblown and overdone!


  8. I very much enjoy your flower posts, both this one and last years! I remember when I read the 2012 post I attended a gardening fair the same weekend and I just went to the same fair last weekend so now I’m all bunked up on tuberose bulbs, sweet pea seeds, chili seeds and lily bulbs. Hopefully this summer will be a better one than last year when I did manage to bring some tuberoses up, but it was to cold for them ever to bloom :(

    But, for the 2013 flower arrangements, my guesses are:
    Bouquet 1 – Nicolas Africano, (the girl in a yellow dress)
    Bouquet 4 – Gottfried Helnwein’s, Ephiphany II.

    The question about which years arrangements I liked the most, I can’t answer, they all look stunning :)


    • Thank you, Sigrun.

      I remember that last summer was scorching hot in many places in Europe so I don’t think you should complain about it not being hot enough. Well, at least for me – I’d always choose a cooler weather over the hotter one.

      I’m working on the answer post and will publish it later.


  9. Pingback: Bouquets to Art 2013: Answers to the Riddle | Undina's Looking Glass

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