Inside The New York Botanical Garden


The Botany That Inspired the Artist: Discovering Frida Kahlo’s Garden

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions on April 30 2015, by Karen Daubmann

Karen Daubmann is NYBG’s AVP for Exhibitions. She has researched, planned, and installed over 50 exhibitions in her seven years at the Garden.

Frida Kahlo's studio Coyoacan Mexico City Casa Azul

At The New York Botanical Garden, exhibitions are planned over many years with the intent of bringing to life distant lands, influential people, interesting plants, rarely seen gardens, and fantastic landscapes. We immerse ourselves in the study of our subjects with the goal of evoking the gardens and the spirits of their creators within the walls of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. In 2010, we transformed the galleries into Emily Dickinson’s Garden, complete with a path “just wide enough for two who love.” In 2012, when we celebrated Claude Monet, we knew the garden we created was one that he was surely enjoying when the glasshouse emptied each evening.

When we began to research Frida Kahlo, we wanted to delve into the story of the woman who has been examined through her pain and suffering and paint her in a different light. We wanted to learn more about the iconic face that is emblazoned on canvases, the strong and fierce-looking dark-haired, dark-eyed woman who used to be known as Diego Rivera’s wife and is now known simply as Frida. The more we researched, the more intrigued we became.

To us, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird was an image of a woman immersed in tropical flora. Her still-life paintings, an important yet lesser-known portion of her work, are informative displays of the rich diversity of Mexico’s plant life. We were fascinated by the incredible detail of Kahlo’s curated life, as evidenced by her paintings, her letters, and archival photos of Kahlo and Rivera in their garden. Her story was ripe to be told by The New York Botanical Garden.

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LGBT@NYBG Continues March 19 at Orchid Evenings

Posted in The Orchid Show on March 17 2015, by Lansing Moore

The next of our popular Orchid Evenings is this Thursday, March 19, and this special night will be dedicated to our friends in the LGBT community as part of the Garden’s new LGBT@NYBG initiative. In partnership with the NGLCCNY, NYBG will dedicate one of our special ticketed cocktail evenings to LGBT outreach for each exhibition.

Guests on Thursday will be able to admire The Orchid Show: Chandeliers and even enter for a chance to win prizes from our friends at Guerlain. Enjoy some beautiful snapshots from our last Orchid Evening below, and get your tickets for one of the remaining dates between now and April 19!


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Grab a Cup of Spiked Cocoa for Bar Car Nights!

Posted in Holiday Train Show on November 6 2014, by Andy Garden

Jazz at Bar Car Nights at The holiday Train Show NYBGThe popular Bar Car Nights at The New York Botanical Garden are back, providing nighttime opportunities for adults to enjoy a special viewing of the Holiday Train Show®! Experience a true winter wonderland at the Garden while sipping a complimentary cocktail and indulging in roasted chestnuts and spiked hot cocoa.

This year there are twice as many opportunities to walk arm-in-arm along Perennial Garden Way and join friends under the twinkling lights of the Conservatory. Bar Car Nights are providing the perfect Friday and Saturday winter escape on November 21 and 22; December 5, 6, 19 and 20; and January 2, 3, 9, and 10 from 7 to 10 p.m.

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The Haunted Pumpkin Garden Gets Ghostly with Spooky Nighttime Adventures

Posted in Exhibitions on October 14 2014, by Andy Garden

Copyright 2012: www.victorchuphoto.comThe thrills and chills of the Halloween season are filling The Haunted Pumpkin Garden right now! And more hair-raising fun awaits in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden with the first of four Spooky Nighttime Adventures taking place this weekend. Afraid of the dark? We have plenty of ConEdison flashlights to help you illuminate the Whole Foods Market® Trick-or-Treat Trail while you listen for critters of the night.

There are many opportunities to immerse yourself in the Halloween spirit at NYBG. On October 18, 24, 25, and 31, capture a family photo with larger-than-life skeletons and costumed creatures, delight in the giant pumpkin displays, or even sit in on an eerie ghost story. For those who dare to journey along the meandering Mitsubishi Wild Wetland Trail, keep your eyes peeled for the colossal marsh monster!

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This Thursday: Kiku Takes Over the Conservatory

Posted in Exhibitions, Exhibitions, Kiku, Video on September 30 2014, by Lansing Moore

KikuThis Thursday is the opening of Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden, NYBG‘s stunning tribute to Japan’s most celebrated fall flower, the chrysanthemum—or kiku. For many months, NYBG’s specially trained experts have been painstakingly cultivating hundreds of Japanese chrysanthemum flowers along frames in a variety of traditional and contemporary styles. Masters of the art of kiku can coax hundreds of blossoms from a single stem. The end result will debut in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory on October 2, when these flowers blossom simultaneously to create showstopping displays.

NYBG will offer a variety of programs throughout the run of this special exhibit, from weekends dedicated to bonsai and ikebana to a special Japanese Pop-Up Restaurant in the Garden Café. Below, enjoy a behind-the-scenes, time-lapse video showing the progress of one of our kiku displays: the monumental ozukuri.

Great American Gardens

Posted in Exhibitions on June 10 2014, by Sonia Uyterhoeven

Sonia Uyterhoeven is the NYBG’s Gardener for Public Education.

The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory's moon gate, part of NYBG's evocation of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden
The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory’s moon gate, part of NYBG’s evocation of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden

For the opening weekend of Groundbreakers: Great American Gardens and The Women Who Designed Them (May 17–September 7), curator Sam Watters led his audience back in time with a lecture entitled “Picturing a Beautiful America.” The show celebrates the work of some of America’s most influential women in early 20th century landscape architecture, design, and garden photography, and Watters’ talk set about laying the historical foundation on which these women and their works were established.

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Morning Eye Candy: Through the Lens

Posted in Exhibitions on May 18 2014, by Matt Newman

Alongside the tools of the gardeners themselves, the camera played an important role in supporting the growth of American landscape design in the 20th century. It was in the efforts of the photographers, several of whom are currently being highlighted during our Groundbreakers exhibition, that the styles of women like Farrand and Coffin met the public eye. Don’t forget to visit our LuEsther T. Mertz Library for an important exhibit on some of the women who made all of this possible!

Groundbreakers camera

In the LuEsther T. Mertz Library – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

This Weekend: NYBG Honors History’s Groundbreakers

Posted in Exhibitions on May 16 2014, by Lansing Moore

Groundbreakers Mrs. Rockefeller's Garden Moon Gate Beginning tomorrow, we throw open the gates to America’s grand estates in Groundbreakers: Great American Gardens and the Women Who Designed Them. This show examines early 20th-century America’s boom in garden culture, with groundbreaking women leading the charge in the fields of landscape architecture, design, and photography.

The centerpiece of this exciting exhibit—a must for aficionados of historic homes and gardens—is Mrs. Rockefeller’s Garden in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. This interpretation of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Maine evokes one of the most stunning properties designed by Beatrix Farrand, one of the Groundbreakers examined in the show. Farrand, along with Marian Coffin and Ellen Shipman, represents a pivotal moment in history, from the end of the Gilded Age to the height of the Jazz Age. Their lives, times, and careers will be the subject of exhibition components throughout the Garden grounds.

For a taste of what’s in store, check out Edward Rothstein’s latest write-up of our brand new summer exhibition in The New York Times. Read on for the full list of this weekend’s programs surrounding Groundbreakers, including all-new children’s activities and plenty of musical interludes!

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Groundbreakers: A Journey Through American Garden and Landscape History

Posted in Exhibitions on May 12 2014, by Lansing Moore

The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden
The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Maine

This Saturday is the opening of our summer exhibit, Groundbreakers: Great American Gardens and the Women Who Designed Them, examining the remarkable generation of early-20th century women committed to the beautification of the country. The exhibit will explore the Groundbreakers’ legacy through installations and programs throughout NYBG!

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Groundbreakers: Evoking Garden History

Posted in Exhibitions on May 8 2014, by Karen Daubmann

Karen Daubmann is NYBG’s AVP for Exhibitions. She has researched, planned, and installed over 50 exhibitions in her seven years at the Garden.

The moon gate in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden

The Free Dictionary defines “evocation” as the creation anew through the power of the memory or imagination. In the exhibitions department at The New York Botanical Garden we craft exhibitions years in advance with the intent of bringing to life distant lands, famous people, interesting plants, rarely seen gardens, and fantastical landscapes. Creating evocations is our job, and one that we take great pride in doing.

Not only do we bring the visual (garden composition) to the visitor, we also bring content to enrich their experience—including catalogs, signage, audio tours, plant tours, iPhone apps, related poetry tours, and programming. Our goals are to transport you, to immerse you, to educate you, and maybe, just for a moment, to help you forget about your life outside the Garden gates. Using our upcoming exhibition as an example, Groundbreakers: Great American Gardens and The Women Who Designed Them, I’d like to show you some of the behind the scenes of how we put together the exhibitions.

Starting with an exhibition idea, we begin to plot the idea on our calendar and determine which exhibitions will come before and after it. Initial themes are developed and concepts for the designs are discussed. Early in the process, a scouting mission is planned, so that any physical locations relating to the topic can be photographed and documented. Later, visits to libraries and archives are planned so that assets for the galleries and related collateral can be gathered.

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