Bouquets to Art: Annual invasion of the flowers

The Fine Arts Museums’ annual floral extravaganza, Bouquets to Art, takes place in March every year. It’s FAMSF’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and it’s extremely popular with museumgoers. It can be especially challenging to the FAMSF conservation staff, however, given the potential to admit insects and pests to the museum. This photo essay chronicles the conservation staff (a.k.a. The Conservation Patrol) at Bouquets to Art 2009.

Bouquet in front of Stela with Queen Ix Mutal Ahaw

Bouquet in front of Stela with Queen Ix Mutal Ahaw.

 

Debra Evans, Head Paper Conservator

Debbie Evans, a paper conservator who has policed Bouquets to Art for 25 years wearing her sherrif’s badge waiting to say “Howdy” to the exhibitors.

 

Exhibitors waiting to be let into the de Young.

Eager exhibitors waiting to be let in at 7:45 am.

 

Bouquets to Art check-in table.

Check-in table: lull before the storm

 

Conservators check plant material.

In an effort to safeguard the museums collections, Conservators check plant material to ensure that no bugs are brought into the building.

 

A bouquet to brighten a foggy day.

A bouquet to brighten a foggy day.

 

Bouquets online auction.

If you want to join the action, check out bouquetstoart.famsf.org

 

The Conservation Patrol discovers a happy insect habitat.

The Conservation Patrol discovers a happy insect habitat, where spiders are quietly spinning webs in the cozy, dark insides of a metal container. The exhibitor was put to work vacuuming until the container was spic and span.

 

The setup continues… the invasion is at its height.

The setup continues… the invasion is at its height.

 

Grand bouquet in Wilsey Court.

From the petite to the sublime.

 

The creative muse in action.

The creative muse in action.

 

Getting inspiration from the art.

Getting inspiration from the art.

 

Obviously inspired by Ruth Asawa.

Obviously inspired by Ruth Asawa.

 

Measuring the height of an arrangement.

Painting conservator Patricia O’Regan measures the height of an arrangement to ensure that will not stab a canvas if it fell during an earthquake.

 

Flashlight inspection revealed an insect eggsac lurking underneath the bark.

Flashlight inspection revealed an insect eggsac lurking underneath the bark, a red flag for the Conservation Patrol. A thorough examination of the material and removal of the pests ensued.

 

Out on patrol, making sure no plant material gets on the floor.

Mr. Rosenberg, who has volunteered in the Objects Conservation Lab for over 30 years, is out on patrol, making sure no plant material gets on the floor.

 

A skateboard makes its way into one bouquet.

These law-abiding citizens showed proof of fumigation, so a skateboard is permitted.

 

Bicycle becomes part of another bouquet but fruit is not allowed.

“The bicycle is ok but the fruit has to go!” says textile conservator Beth Szuhay. In the dark of night, furry critters might be looking for a midnight snack, so these grapefruit were confiscated.

 

Plastic grapes in one display get the OK.

On the other hand, the Conservation Patrol gave a reprieve to these "grapes." Any furry creature would be in for a big surprise if they stole one of these plastic stand-ins.

 

This animal slipped in because he was made of flowers.

This animal slipped in because he was made of flowers.

 

Calculating the potential for an earthquake induced water disaster.

Paintings Conservator Elise Effman and intern Katie Patton calculate the potential for an earthquake induced water disaster.

 

Some exhibitors view the rules with a sense of humor and slip in plastic bugs.

Some exhibitors view the rules with a sense of humor and slip in plastic bugs to fool the Sheriff and her team.

 

Exhibitors up to more tricks, a trompe-l’œil water spill.

Exhibitors up to more tricks, a trompe-l’œil water spill… No need to run for clean-up rags.

 

No feathers were used to make this realistic looking parrot.

This bird wins the team's prize for creativity, no feathers were used to make this realistic looking parrot.

 

Bicycle bouquet in progress.

In case you wondered what became of the bicycle, we thought we’d show you the work in progress.

 

This was the result of that inspired moment.

This was the result of that inspired moment.

 

The Sheriff declares it a successful invasion and you see her here, mesmerized b

The Sheriff declares it a successful invasion and you see her here, mesmerized by her favorite bouquet.