University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
School of Architecture College of Design

Demonstration Garden Designing Flowers Exhibition


Demonstration Garden: Designing Flowers


June 9 – September 9, 2018


EXHIBITION | June 9 – September 9, 2018

Goldstein Museum of Design, Gallery 241, McNeal Hall, St. Paul campus


Co-Curators: Jean McElvain and Sarah Hegge


Like bees, we’re attracted to the fresh forms and organic scents of flowers. These botanical celebrities have been studied, catalogued, cultivated, and picked for thousands of years. Flowers play key roles in medicinal therapies and serve ritualistic purposes, with many cultures imbuing particular flowers with powerful symbolism. In Hinduism, for example, flowers are ceremoniously offered to the Gods, and in Japan the chrysanthemum symbolizes the Imperial family.

The beguiling charms flowers have also lured many designers into riffing off of their plain-old good looks. In fact, the inspirational usage of flowers is so common that it is easy to take them for granted. This exhibition celebrates the enduring popularity of floral motifs in textiles and apparel, highlighting an innate interest in wearing natural beauty. Also included are images of botanical illustrations from the Andersen Horticultural Library at the University of Minnesota, dating back as far as the 1540s. Clearly there was an early understanding of the critical role flowers play within varied ecosystems and the human soul.

The Demonstration Garden: Designing Flowers explores an eternal fascination with flowers and the different hand and machine technologies used to produce their likenesses. From the subtle charms of an early 19th century hair comb to the bold embroidery of traditional Oaxaca dress, this exhibition reveals the desire to transform fibers, dyes, beads, glass, metals, and leather into flowers.



Demonstration Garden


StarTriburne: Beautiful Gardens contest, fairy gardening, macrame class and more, Floral inspiration







Contact Information

Goldstein Museum of Design

364 McNeal Hall,

1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-624-7434 |

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