What is growing & blooming in the Earl and Donnalee Holton Victorian Garden?

In the Victorian Era, greenhouses provided space for people to gather and appreciate the botanical uniqueness that was being discovered around the world. The Earl and Donnalee Holton Victorian Garden pays homage to this concept of displaying plants from tropical regions around the world. Water fountains, ornate planters, stained glass features and several sculptures including pieces by Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin set the tone for the diversity of lush horticulture found within this space.

Here are some of the things that have been growing and blooming recently in the Victorian Garden:

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Blood Banana – Musa acuminata ssp Zebrina

medinilla-magnifica

Pink Lantern Plant – Medinilla magnifica

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Purple Passion Flower Vine – Passiflora caerula

 

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Persian Lime Tree – Citrus x latifolia

This lime is the most commonly grown lime species for commercial use.

erodendrum ugandense

Blue Butterfly Bush – Clerodendrum ugandense

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Angelwing Begonia – Begonia coccinea

There are also many Heirloom Spring Bulbs on display, including Tulip ‘Apricot Beauty’, Daffodil ‘Thalia’H. and ‘Gipsy Queen’ to name a few. Flowering annuals and tropicals are coming soon for summer!

#5WomenArtists – Sophie Ryder

During Women’s History Month this March, we are joining the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C. by using the hashtag #5WomenArtists to share important contributions by women in our collection.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and bookmark their wonderful Broad Strokes Blog.

This week, we’re featuring the work of Sophie Ryder.

Sophie Ryder was born in London, England where she studied combined arts at the Royal Academy of Arts. While she earned her degree in painting, she was encouraged to focus on sculpture by her fellow artists. It was there that she developed her Lady Hare figures as a counterpart to Ancient Greek mythology’s Minotaur.

Although well known in her native England, and throughout Europe and Canada, Ryder’s first major museum exhibition in the United States was here at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in 2007. Important examples of the artist’s work in a variety of media and in varying scale were shown. Work in wire, bronze, installation, drawings and prints drew connections and distinctions within the artist’s repertoire. Central to the exhibition was the recently completed bronze masterwork, Introspective and the colossal Curled-Up Figure in wire.


The idea of making three-dimensional sculptures entirely from wire was pioneered by Ryder. She begins with a metal armature, which is covered with wire of different thickness, including bed springs and other pieces salvaged from ships. To shape the wire she uses her bare hands and pliers, sometimes aided by a hammer. It is a very physical job and tough on the hands, which inevitably get filthy and cut at times.

“I have always considered myself an artist not a painter or a sculptor or anything in particular. I have always enjoyed experimenting with different media. I never realized that when you went to art school you had to be one thing or the other.” said Ryder. “I sculpt characters and beings – the dogs, the hares, the minotaurs – all characters beyond animal form. That’s what interests me – I am not interested in making a replica. I haven’t sat down and studied anatomy and bone structure. I just look at the way a dog moves, a hare jumps and translate it into my work.”

Can you name 5 women artists in our collection?

About NMWA:
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

#5womenartists – Kiki Smith

During Women’s History Month this March, we are joining the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C. by using the hashtag #5womenartists to share important contributions by women in our collection.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and bookmark their wonderful Broad Strokes Blog.

This week, we feature the work of Kiki Smith.

Most of Kiki Smith’s sculpture is figurative and implies a narrative. She creates a variety of work including drawings and prints but is most well-known for her sculpture. Works like Sleepwalker, shown below, frequently focus on a stylized female figure engaged in slow-moving activity that seems to express a dream-like or visionary image. Although the dark, rich patina is not typical for the artist, it encourages the nocturnal theme of this sculpture.

Smith is the daughter of American sculptor Tony Smith, who helped influence her career by having her assist in making cardboard models for his geometric sculptures. His work is also included in our permanent collection.

Smith was recently honored along with Bernar Venet as a 2016 International Sculpture Center‘s Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Can you name 5 women artists in our collection?

About NMWA:
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

#5womenartists – Beverly Pepper

During Women’s History Month this March, we are joining the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C. by using the hashtag #5womenartists to share important contributions by women in our collection.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and bookmark their wonderful Broad Strokes Blog.

This week, we feature the work of Beverly Pepper. Pepper established her career in the wake of Abstract Expressionism in the late 1960s. She began making wedge and columnar sculptures more than 30 years ago feeling that such iconic forms express both a sense of the ancient and modern. A wedge is a piece of wood or metal used as a tool; thick at one end and tapered on the other; it is highly sculptural in design. In Pepper’s work, scale has been greatly exploited to create a sleek sense of force and momentum that marks a sense of place and clearly stands out against the sky.

Beverly Pepper has been a major force across the international scene since the 1960s. A 2012 exhibition at Meijer Gardens focused exclusively on her pioneering efforts in metal beginning with her debut at the famed Spoleto exhibition in 1962 through major recent efforts. Charting her innovation and determination, iconic works from across her repertoire were on view. This was the first major presentation on Pepper in recent years and the first to explore the power and vision of her work in steel. From daring, welded steel of the early 1960s, to pristine geometric works of the late 1960s and 1970s, to the upright sentinels known in public and private collections around the world, the exhibition carried through to ascending monoliths of recent years. This exhibition was accompanied by archival information and a fully illustrated catalogue. Charting her innovation and determination, iconic works from across her repertoire were on view.

 

Can you name 5 women artists in our collection?

About NMWA:
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

What is growing and blooming in the Kenneth E. Nelson Carnivorous Plant House

Did you know that our Kenneth E. Nelson Carnivorous Plant House is the only publicly displayed plant collection in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to carnivorous plants? It’s true! The Carnivorous Plant House is home to meat-eating plants from around the globe of all shapes and sizes. The most familiar is the Venus flytrap. Other carnivores on display include colorful pitcher plants, sundews and butterworts.

Here are some of the things that have been growing and blooming recently in the Carnivorous Plant House:

Pinguicula vulgaris

Pinguicula vulgaris – Common Butterwort

Sarracenia purpurea

Pinguicula primulaflora – Butterwort

Pinguicula gigantea

Pinguicula gigantea – Giant Butterwort

Drosera adelae

Drosera adelae – Lance Leaved Sundew

Brocchinia reducta

Brocchinia reducta – Bromeliad

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Dionaea muscipula – Venus Fly Trap

 

What is growing & blooming in the Earl and Donnalee Holton Arid Garden?

A welcome retreat from the cold Michigan winter, the Earl and Donnalee Holton Arid Garden brings together cacti, agaves, succulents and other desert plants from around the world. Stop by on your next visit to discover flora that can survive in the most barren climates on the planet!

Here are some of the things that have been growing and blooming recently in the Arid Garden:

Our potted jade tree, Crassula ovata:
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Crown of Thorns, Euphorbia milii:
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Echeveria:
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Aloe sinkatana:
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Mustache aloe, Aloe suprafolitata:

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Happy birthday, Marshall Fredericks!

Happy birthday to Danish-American sculptor Marshall Fredericks, born on January 31, 1908!

Marshall Fredericks’ works are a vital part of the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park story. A friend and favorite sculptor of Fred Meijer and the first artist that he collected in earnest, an initial gift of 36 works by Fredericks from Fred and Lena helped launch Meijer Gardens in 1995. Fredericks’ work is well represented in our permanent collection, with his stylized figurative work patinated a trademark aqua green.

As you walk around Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, you’ll notice Fredericks work at nearly every turn. Some of our favorites are shown below:

Boy and Bear

The Boy and the Bear

Leaping Gazelle Fountain

Leaping Gazelle Fountain (Rabbit, Hawk, Grouse, Otter)

Bear and Cub

Two Bears

Friendly Dragons

Friendly Dragons

Victory Eagle

Victory Eagle

To Michiganders, perhaps his most famous work is a piece that he never named himself, but has become known as The Spirit of Detroit.  He said that he “…tried to express the spirit of man through the deity and the family.”

Spirit

Spirit of Detroit

Spirit in studio

Marshall Fredericks in his studio

Fredericks and Spirit

Fredericks with the completed The Spirit of Detroit

Only after it was installed in 1958 did it became known as The Spirit of Detroit. Not only did Fredericks waive his creative fee for this sculpture, but it cost him money to produce. He believed this was merely part of his civic responsibility.