Fine Arts & Flowers Returns to VMFA

Museum-wide exhibition coincides with the reopening of VMFA’s Fabergé Galleries

Fine Arts & Flowers returns to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts October 20–23, 2016, with spectacular floral interpretations of works from the museum’s permanent collection. This is the 13th presentation of this biennial exhibition, which is sponsored by The Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Floral designs are contributed by members of The Garden Club of Virginia, Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, and Garden Clubs of Virginia.  This October More than 80 floral designers from approximately 50 garden club across Virginia will offer breathtaking displays inspired by masterworks throughout the museum.

The Fabergé in Bloom Gala Preview on October 19 offers attendees a preview of the newly designed galleries devoted to the museum’s Fabergé and Russian Decorative Arts collections. The suite’s three central galleries are named in honor of Eda Hofstead Cabaniss, a former VMFA Foundation Board member and honorary chair of this year’s event. Proceeds from Fine Arts & Flowers will support the reinstallation of the VMFA collection, which has been traveling since 2012. Guest speakers during the exhibition include internationally renowned event florist  Shane Connolly, whose work have been recognized by Britain’s royal family, and Ariella Chezar, who is known for her farmer-forager approach to floral design.  Other events include the ever-popular Edible Flowers tasting, a VCU fashion show, Sunday’s festive champagne brunch, hands-on flower-arranging workshops, and more. Docent-guided tours of the exhibition are available throughout the four-day event.

Admission to view floral displays in the galleries is free. Tickets to the gala, lunches, lectures, classes, and other special events are available for purchase at or at 804-340-1405.

Fine Arts & Flowers is presented by The Council of VMFA. Strange’s Florists, Greenhouses, and Garden Centers LLC is the official supplier of flowers and plant material as it has been since the exhibition’s inception in 1987.  The Francena T. Harrison Foundation Trust is the event’s presenting sponsor.



Fabergé in Bloom Gala Preview
Wednesday, October 19
7–10 p.m.
$150 per person

Join Honorary Chair Edie Hofstead Cabaniss to celebrate Fine Arts & Flowers 2016 and the return of VMFA’s acclaimed Fabergé collection. Experience the grandeur and opulence of the Romanov era in the Marble Hall, imperially transformed for the occasion, and enjoy royally inspired food and drink to the music of pianist Bruin Richardson. Guests will be the first to see more than 80 inspired floral designs throughout the museum, and visit the new Fabergé and Russian Decorative Arts galleries. Cocktail attire suggested.


Guest Speaker Shane Connolly
“Designing Fall Flowers and Foliage”
Thursday, October 20
10 a.m. | Leslie Cheek Theater
$35 per person (group discounts available, call Group Sales at 804.340.1575)

Born and raised in Northern Ireland and trained by London’s leading designers, Shane Connolly has for 25 years designed one-off, bespoke events with a small team of florists, artists, and craftsmen, and has been awarded a Royal Warrant of Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales. Connolly is both an artisan florist and masterful “full-set” event designer in England and beyond.  This lecture is generously sponsored by Peg Freeman and Ralph Crosby in memory of Joan Crosby, founding chair of Fine Arts & Flowers in 1987.


Edible Flowers
Thursday, October 20
3 p.m. | Claiborne Robertson Room
$40 per person

Chef de Cuisine Greg Haley, of VMFA’s Amuse restaurant, presents a visual and culinary extravaganza of floral delicacies in the Claiborne Robertson Room overlooking the Sculpture Garden. Enjoy tastings of savories and sweets as Chef Haley reveals the secrets of incorporating floral ingredients into menus at home.


Marble Hall Luncheon
Thursday and Friday, October 20–21
$40 per person

Enjoy a seated luncheon in the Marble Hall sumptuously decorated in imperial style for Fine Arts & Flowers. The three-course menu includes wine, with vegetarian and gluten-free options available, Informal modeling of jewelry and accessories from the VMFA Shop. Tables seat six guests each.


Guest Speaker Ariella Chezar
“A Celebration of Color”
Friday, October 21
10 a.m. | Leslie Cheek Theater
$35 per person (group discounts available, call Group Sales at 804.340.1575)

Join renowned floral designer Ariella Chezar as she demonstrates her own farmer-forager approach to floral design. Inspired by abundant flora in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a wild vine, fruit on a branch, or a fresh sprig outside the door often added the finishing touch to her sought-after floral and event creations, she and her husband founded Zonneveld Farm in Columbia County, New York, where they harvest sustainably grown flowers for use in her spectacular designs.


Interpretive Flower Arranging
Saturday, October 22
10 a.m. & 2 p.m. | Art Education Center
$40 per person

Sought-after Virginia horticulturist and teacher David Pippin will help you create your own floral inspiration to take home. Pippin is a classroom and workshop instructor, garden consultant, faculty member at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, and event florist across Virginia, as well as floral designer at the Executive Mansion of Virginia.


Flowers in Fashion Luncheon
Saturday, October 22
Noon | Marble Hall
$45 per person

The VMFA Council and the Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising of Virginia Commonwealth University present their  fourth Flowers in Fashion.  A three course luncheon will be followed by a fashion show of student designed and modeled attire from casual dress to evening gowns.  Two scholarships, given by previous chairs of Fine Arts & Flowers, will be presented to the winning designers.  Judged by Dr. Mitchell Merling, Pam Reynolds and Pam Royall.  Lisa Schaffner, noted broadcaster will be the mistress of ceremonies; with music by harpist, Rickie Denton, and an array of door prizes. A select menu includes wine, with vegetarian and gluten free options available. Tables seat six guests each.


Bubbles & Blossoms Brunch
Sunday, October 23
Noon | Claiborne Robertson Room
$40 per person

Enjoy a festive champagne brunch and menu Français in the charming Claiborne Robertson Room overlooking the VMFA’s spectacular Sculpture Garden and Pauley Center.


Petals to Paper Parent – Child Class
Sunday, October 23
1 p.m. | Art Education Center
$20 per person

In this environmentally friendly class, Richmond botanical artist and illustrator Celeste Johnston will teach children and parents to recycle wilted or faded stems and flowers into handmade paper. The class is limited to 12 children ages 5–12 and 12 parents; one child per parent.


Docent-Guided Tours of Exhibition Highlights
Thursday, October 20–Sunday, October 23
$15 per person

VMFA docents will lead 50-minute tours through the galleries, providing insight to both the works of art and floral interpretations at approximately fifteen selected stops per tour. Tours meet in the Atrium.



Name Work of art Hometown
Judy Hodges Jina, probably Shreyamsanatha, Artist Unknown New Canton
Ann Palmore Shiva as King of Dancers (Nataraja), Artist Unknown Ashland
Anne Rickman 3 Ganesha Dancing, Artist Unknown Montpelier
Barbara Dillard Talismanic Shirt, Artist Unknown Midlothian
Darleen Nelson Priming Flask, Artist Unknown Montross
Thea McGinnis Flaming Trident, Artist Unknown Arlington
Diane Coleman Temple Hanging, Artist Unknown Sutherland
Rebecca Elston Portrait of Prince William and his Elder Sister Princess Sophia, Benjamin West Heathsville
Valerie Story Tall Clock, David Rittenhouse Warrenton
Noeline Baruch Painted Side Chair, Attributed to John Seymour Jr. Richmond
Lynn Neviaser Scotch Whaler Working Through Ice, William Bradford Rixeyville
Nancy Dunford The Letter, William McGregor Paxton Tazewell
Patricia Compton Friendly Advice, William Merritt Chase Danville
Kelly Gwathmey Mrs. Richard H. Derby, John Singer Sargent Aylett
Betty Ann Galway Flowers in Her Hair, Julius LeBlanc Stewart Arlington
Diane Burgess The Hitch Team, George Luks Rockville
Grace Morris Cleopatra, William Wetmore Story Waynesboro
Jane Coulter Back Row, Folies Bergère, Everett Shinn Roanoke
Kathie Haas Canoeing in the Adirondacks, Winslow Homer Richmond
Carol Medlin L’Aperitif, William Glackens Heathsville
Christina McCoy Tennis at Newport, George Bellows Richmond
Janet Minock Catfish Row, Jacob Lawrence Glen Allen
Roberta Douma House at Dusk, Edward Hopper Richmond
Bets Klein Giant Steps, Enrico Riley Bedford
Karen Abramson Xilempasto 6, Henrique Oliveira Alexandria
Nancy Lee Martin The Former and the Ladder of Ascension and a Cinchin’, Trenton Doyle Hancock Henrico
Doris Morris Stadia III, Julie Mehretu Midlothian
Grail Hoerr Art History Is Not Linear (VMFA), Ryan McGinness Keswick
Anne Vanderwarker Landscape with Wing, Anslem Kiefer Keswick
Doris Crowell Summer Wind, Elizabeth Murray Chester
Vivian Shackelford Gabon Carolina, Michael Lucero Hudgins
Jean Fender Rolling, Adolph Gottlieb Mechanicsville
Lois Spencer Johnny Bird, John Chamberlain Sandy Point
Rosemary Francis Box #89, Lucas Samaras Roanoke
Susanne Hillier 1 2 3 4 5 6, Sol LeWitt Chesterfield
Genny Chase Burger Chef Interior, Ralph Goings Weems
Bob Henkel Vase, Zsolnay Ceramic Works Fort Defiance
Ann Murchison Oceania Vase, Rene Buthaud Lexington
Jane VanDenburgh Bird Cage on Stand, Pierre Legrain Mechanicsville
Mary Ann May Clock, Albert Cheuret Jeffersonton
Rita Johnson Fire Screen, Attributed to Emile Galle Chesterfield
Jennifer Kelley Umbels Collar, Rene Lalique Alexandria
Kathy Holliday Project for a Tapestry (The Fairy Caprice), Georges DeFeure Winchester
Lorraine VanWickler Armchair (for Hous’hill, Catherine Cranston’s residence, Glasgow, Scotland), Alex Martin Ophelia
Marion Zimmermann Secretaire Cabinet, George Washington Jack Fredericksburg
Carol Cruickshanks Dragonfly Lamp, Tiffany Studios Richmond
Joey Day Flower Pot, Jean Schlumberger Lynchburg
Victoria Alexander Beach Scene at Deauville, Eugene Boudin Alexandria
Lynne Still A Man Docking His Skiff, Gustave Caillebotte Henrico
Anita Brown Houses and Garden, Georges Seurat Arlington
Elene Combs L’Atelier au Bouquet, Raoul Dufy Tazewell
JoAnn McNabb Tropical Landscape: American Indian Struggling with a Gorilla, Henri Rousseau Rockville
Jody Taylor Haystacks, Kees Van Dongen Richmond
Kit Sullivan Field of Poppies, Giverny, Claude Monet Richmond
Katherine White Portrait of Mrs. French’s White Lap Dog, George Stubbs Henrico
Linda Macilwaine Three Riders Following Hounds Towards a Five-Barred Gate, James Seymour Charlottesville
Lisa Johnson Portrait of an Extraordinary Musical Dog, Philip Reinalge Fairfax Station
Kay Gray A Sportsman Talking to his Beater after Coursing, W. J. Pringle Richmond
Carla Rice Covered Bowl, Artist Unknown Yorktown
Agnes Lipscomb Kettle, Phillip Rundell Richmond
Barbara Jones Platter from the Service of Anne, Duke of Montmorency, Guido Durantino Richmond
Barbara Hollister Don Quixote, Charles-Antoine Coypel Moseley
Laraine Smith Le Jeune Frere, William-Adolphe Bougeureau South Prince George
Mary Gardiner Woman in the Studio (Femme a l’atelier), Alfred Stevens Winchester
Mary Owen Ibala leSindebele (Ndebele Design), Esther Mahlangu Fork Union
Ann Tensor Hornbill Statue/Headdress, Artist Unknown Rockville
Andrea Vasquez Triptych Icon with Virgin and Child, Artist Unknown Glen Allen
Nancy Lehew-Krogsund Crown, Artist Unknown Front Royal
Virginia Smith Funerary Post, Artist Unknown Richmond
Beth Burgess Community Nkisi (Power Figure), Artist Unknown Richmond
Barbara Evans Cradle Board, Artist Unknown Montpelier
Sally Harrison Our Lady of Piety, Francisco Xavier dos Santos Henrico
Darlene Halvorsen Extensive Landscape with View of the Castle of Mariemont, Jan Brueghel the Elder Virginia Beach
Terry Buntrock Reliquary Bust of St. Barbara, Artist Unknown Williamsburg
Carolyn Snyder Processional Cross, Artist Unknown Glen Allen
Bridgette Swepston Goose-Shaped Censer, Artist Unknown Powhatan
Sarah Bell Parrott Scenes From the Tales of Genji, Artist Unknown Roanoke
Selma Trower Jar with Red Peony Design, Artist Unknown Petersburg
Dawn Lerch Suspension Vase, Artist Unknown Midlothian
Eileen Bates Food Vessel, Artist Unknown Manakin Sabot
Judy Futch Buddhist Altar Pendent, Artist Unknown Ashland
Bonnie Parker The Four Seasons, Section of Floor Mosaic from the House of the Drinking Contest, Artist Unknown Richmond
Marguerite Slaughter Gaius Julius Caesar Agustus Germanicas (Caligula), Artist Unknown Reedville
Kathy Ward Olive Wreath, Artist Unknown Midlothian
Judy Durant Red Figure Head Vase in the Shape of a Nubian, Artist Unknown Mechanicsville
Gertrude Lewis Akt in Landschaft, Otto Muller Richmond


About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

VMFA’s permanent collection encompasses more than 35,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of world history. Its collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, Fabergé, and the art of South Asia are among the finest in the world. With acclaimed holdings in American, British Sporting, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist, and Modern and Contemporary art – and additional strengths in African, Ancient, East Asian, and European – VMFA ranks as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus lively after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. VMFA, a certified Virginia Green attraction, is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free. For additional information, telephone 804.340.1400 or visit


# # #

Press Contacts:

Allan Altholz, allan.altholz@vmfa.musem , 804.204.2721

Sam Campbell , 804. 204.2770

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2016