In bloom along the Hudson

WAG spent a floral-themed afternoon at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers recently, attending “Flowers Abound,” the Aug. 9 edition of the “Arts in the Afternoon” program.

And abound they did.

Things got underway with a talk by Jennifer McGregor, senior director of arts, education and programs at Wave Hill in the Bronx, where, she told us, exhibitions “are always connecting people with nature.”

The illustrated lecture spotlighted Wave Hill’s “Flora Fantastica!” which continues through Aug. 27 in the site’s Glyndor Gallery. It’s devoted to paintings and installations by four artists – Nancy Blum, Amy Cheng, Elisabeth Condon and Jill Parisi – and McGregor drew parallels among the artists, their work on display and their public commissions.

She also previewed the upcoming “Call & Response” show (opening Sept. 10) and detailed the site’s Winter Workspace program for artists.

After, HRM’s own Laura Vookles, chair of the curatorial department, offered a short but informative tour though Glenview, pointing out floral decorations found throughout the museum’s 19th-century mansion.

The afternoon also gave us a chance to catch up on a few of the museum’s current exhibitions, including “Floral Arrangements: Highlights from the Collection,” on the main floor. This sweeping survey through time and styles includes such treasures as a 1934 Georgia O’Keeffe drawing, a 1951 limited-edition rug designed by Henri Matisse (for the Alexander Smith carpet factory in Yonkers) and one of the museum’s newest acquisitions, an 1862 Currier & Ives print, “Landscape: Fruit and Flowers by Fanny Palmer,” with the floral theme continued on vases and home goods, fashions and accessories and in paintings and photographs.

The lower galleries include “Robert Zakanitch: Garden of Ornament,” a bold treat also continuing through Sept. 17, while we also settled in for the immersive experience of Sylvia Sleigh’s “Invitation to a Voyage: The Hudson River at Fishkill, 1979 – 1999,” which continues to Jan. 15, 2018.

All combined to create a most rewarding afternoon.

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– Mary Shustack

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