Modernism Joins the Party

De Young adds mid-century modern lecture to its ‘Bouquets to Art’ show March 13-18
Fridays on the Homefront
Palm Springs interior designer Christopher Kennedy (above) lectures 'Making Midcentury Modern' on March 15 (6-8:30pm) at San Francisco de Young Museum's 2018 edition of 'Bouquets to Art.' Mid-century modern is a new accent added to the six-day de Young show/fundraiser (March 13-18), which annually brings together the museum's art collection paired with designers' floral arrangements that the art inspires.
Fridays on the Homefront
Designer Christopher Kennedy's book Making Midcentury Modern.
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront
Two floral-meets-art designs from 'Bouquets to Art' past.

'Bouquets to Art' is an annual San Francisco spectacle that has many facets. This year's show, set for the City's de Young Museum March 13-18, is of course about flowers and about art—but now there's an added twist for MCM fans.

With its accompanying lecture series continuing to diversify, 'Bouquets to Art 2018' will include a splash of mid-century modern too.

"It used to be just floral designers, and now we've also branched out into lifestyle speakers," explains Maureen Murray Fox, chair of the Programs and Lectures Committee for the event hosts, San Francisco Auxiliary of Fine Arts Museums. "Mid-century modern's kind of 'in' right now, so we thought that would be interesting."

And so it is that one of the hottest interior designers around will make his way to San Francisco this month from his base in that MCM capital of the western world, Palm Springs. In fact, giving his lecture 'Making Midcentury Modern' on Thursday March 15 (6-8:30pm) represents a meeting of homes past and present for presenter/designer/author Christopher Kennedy, who was born in San Francisco.

"The lecture will focus on my path to Palm Springs, and how the architecture and the history inspire me and my firm," said the designer, whose work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Dwell, Luxe, Elle Décor, and the Los Angeles Times.

Kennedy also authored a book with the same name as the lecture, which is one of five coupled with the show. As its name suggests, 'Bouquets to Art' is comprised of floral arrangements that simulate and/or celebrate renowned pieces of fine art that are selected from the museum's permanent collection. It has been the Auxiliary's main annual fundraiser almost since its inception in 1984.

"It is the most popular annual event held at the [de Young's] Fine Arts Museums each year, attracting crowds of more than 50,000 visitors during Bouquets Week," said Murray Fox of this year's March 13-18 event.

"This year was exciting [to produce] because we had all the lower galleries open to us, and we can do the 'Revelations' exhibition," she said in reference to a current show in the museum featuring 22 artists from the American South that is scheduled to close in April.

A volunteer like all Auxiliary members, Murray Fox explained that arrangers are chosen from proposals submitted, "everybody from professional florists to hobbyists." They come from as close as the Floral Design Program at City College of San Francisco, and as far away as Tokyo and Vietnam.

"Sometimes they get seen there [at the 'Bouquets' show), and they get picked up by a florist, so it's actually a launching pad for some of them," she noted. Online surveys help inform the selection of lecturers like Kennedy, whose book Making Midcentury Modern book is basically a compendium of MCM lifestyle pointers.