Monday, January 18, 2010

Botanicals with a twist

A few weeks ago I went to this great exhibit at the Yale Center for British Art of the botanical collages by Mary Delany. It was probably one of the most interesting exhibits in which I was completely unfamiliar with the subjects that I'd ever been to. She was a society woman who was married off strategically to a rather older man and developed a love for plants. She made these intricate botanical collages out of little bits of paper. Each color of each work is a different bit of paper that she cut by hand. These must have taken incredibly patience but through learning about her, she had a lot of spare time. I love botanicals of all kinds so take a look at some I found!

Black botanicals are not seen as often as others and I think they're quite beautiful. This is one by Mary Delany.

Here is another one. It was very important to her that all the botanicals be anatomically correct as well.Isn't the contrast of the black background against the beautiful flowers/plants breathtaking? S. R. Gambrel designed this interior and I'm blown away. It's fresh and traditional feeling at the same time.

This might not look too different but I really like this interior because when you think botanicals you usually think country. This room mixes the organic country with the hard lucite glass, the soft upholstery with the cold metal frame of the table etc. Interior by Michael Clattenburg from AD.

Via Velvet & Linen, these pressed botanicals are framed in a window pane--gorgeous and creative idea for framing them!

Robin Bell designed this traditional room. The botanicals really frame out that hutch. I'd love to see those quilts that are so nicely displayed in there.

Barry Dixon used these framed botanicals in one of the most admirable ways I've ever seen--to hide a TV! Nice choice.

Not only are botanicals beautiful but you can see that they really come from something. They are flowers, leaves, plants etc which can be seen as a craft, something horticultural, something simple, or something as intricate as one of Mary Delany's creations. The Yale Center for British Art put out a book about her with her works called Mary Delany and Her Circle. I'm super curious now about this book. I highly suggest reading more about her as she is a very fascinating woman. Actually, Peak of Chic wrote about her a little bit ago so check it out HERE.

Alicia B.


kerry said...

Beautiful. I need to figure out my own botanical TV concealer.

Lynn Byrne said...

Hi Alicia,
I also did a post on Mrs. Delany and the Yale Exhibit (which I believe is now moved to Chicago). In my post, I show work by a contemporary artist who photographs botanicals on a black background. Her name is Frances Liscio and her work is quite affordable. ( and lovely) You can read my post at
It is my Nov. 7, 2009 post. You can also find it by searching Archives. Best, Lynn

Alicia B. Designs said...

Thanks Lynn and Kerry! I love botanicals in every form and when they become as detail an artful as Ms Delany's, they are really quite special.

Ally said...

I absolutely love botanical prints and all the interiors you provided in this post are amazing. I'll be sure to look out for that book now, too! :)

Heidi said...

I love how these botanicals are florals without feeling florally and overly feminine. Great photos

Jen said...

Wonderful post! I've been hoping to dry some native plants in the area, frame them, and hang them somewhere in the house. It'll give the house a nice organic feel. Thanks for the inspiration!

Jen :)