Hans Simon Holtzbecker. Fritillaria imperialis (detail). From Gottorfer Codex, 1649-59

Exhibition | News about the art | 7.mar.2013

NEW EXHIBITION: Flowers and World Views

Statens Museum for Kunst will be in full bloom when this year’s major spring exhibition presents a lush and comprehensive array of flower paintings spanning two centuries of art. The exhibition offers a sumptuous walk through the rich and varied world of flowers, but also digs deeper down to show us that a flower is not just simply a flower.

22 March - 20 October 2013
Flowers and World Views

More than a flower

Depictions of flowers and plants have existed as long as the visual arts – and have undergone as many changes. Perhaps precisely because flower pictures are more than merely decorative. Focusing on the rich variety of 17th and 18th century flower painting the exhibition homes in on how the artists’ depictions of flora are affected by their historical setting, and how the genre is always shaped by and contingent on the prevalent world view of its era.

From symbols to species
The exhibition homes in on a period where the world view of the medieval and Renaissance eras is slowly replaced by a new and rather more scientific approach. Flowers move away from being symbols of a wide variety of things, and flowers in art become part of modern science with its systematic classification of nature and its species. From being part of a complex network of meanings that are difficult to decipher today the flower begins to refer to its own nature, often depicted with a hitherto unseen level of detail. The exhibition elucidates this shift in world views and how that transition can be seen in German, Flemish, and Dutch flower painting.

Drawing studio and live conservation
The exhibition is staged as an ideal garden where the pictorial flowers bud and bloom across boundaries such as season, climate, and geography. The more than 300 works are presented in accordance with an overall theme following the development and distinguishing traits of flower painting. Everything is supported by additional material on iPads, film, etc.

The museum has also embarked on a new venture: a drawing studio has been set up in a central location in the exhibition. Here, visitors can try their hand at drawing flowers themselves, surrounded by a wealth of reference material in the form of fresh flowers and flower pictures. Last, but by no means least, the exhibition includes an integrated conservation studio where visitors can see the conservators restoring paintings that will later become part of the exhibition. The live sessions take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays-Fridays and in the first weekend of every month. Q&A sessions with the conservator are held every Wednesday at 2 p.m.

The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue Flowers and World Views. Lavishly illustrated and featuring articles by art historians, conservators, and botanists. At the same time Prestel Verlag and the gallery have collaborated on publishing a facsimile edition of The Green Florilegium, including all 395 flower paintings from one of the finest florilegia of the 17th century.

The exhibition is supported by
The A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation, 15. Juni Fonden, the George Jorck and Emma Jorck Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, administered by the American Foundation of the Institute for Conservation, Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf, the Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik Foundation, the Krista & Viggo Petersen Foundation, the Memorial Trust for Barrister L. Zeuthen, AFSMK (American Friends of SMK), Howard and Roberta Ahmanson and Valhal Corp.

Parkmuseerne is a new museum district created in collaboration between the David Collection, the Filmhouse, the Hirschsprung Collection, Rosenborg Castle, the Natural History Museum of Denmark, and Statens Museum for Kunst. Parkmuseerne is located in the heart of Copenhagen, set in beautiful parkland, and home to Denmark’s largest and most important collection of artefacts from the realms of art and nature. The Parkmuseerne district is officially launched on 18 March. The following days will see the opening of six co-ordinated exhibitions sharing a common theme – flowers – and a range of new jointly staged activities and events that will forge even closer links between the area’s architecture, museums, and parks, creating new opportunities for all.

PRESS PHOTOS are available for download here.

For further information, please contact:

Jakob Fibiger Andreasen
Head of Press
T +45 3374 8474
M +45 2961 6949

Eva de la Fuente Pedersen
T +45 3374 8532

Hanne Kolind Poulsen
T +45 3374 8512

Updated: 19.jun.2018
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