29 January – 30 May 2010
29 Jan – 30 May 2010
Turku Art Museum breaks out in bloom when the ground floor of the museum is taken over by floral and botanical artworks from Estonian art collections. Floromania explores thematically the flower fever of artists from the Baroque to the present. The mysteries of flowers are unveiled through more than a hundred artworks and craft objects.

Challenging the apparent simplicity of floral motifs, the Floromania exhibition examines the role of flowers and plants in visual art. In older art, flowers were read as religious or mythological symbols. The language of flowers has subsequently become secular, yet flowers still remind us of Paradise, the Garden of Eden. In portraits, a flower often emphasises the beauty and virtuousness of its bearer. For another sitter, it may symbolise power and position, or hint at secrets, or flagrantly reveal its bearer's voluptuousness. In traditional floral still lifes, flowers either engage dutifully in dialogue with the other objects or dominate the picture by their regal splendour. Under the beautiful exterior, however, there lurks the smell of death, for flowers also symbolise the brevity of our earthly passage and the inevitability of death. Apart from artists, also scientists and craftsmen have been fascinated by flowers. The starting point of their gaze may be different, but are the final results so very different after all?

The exhibition is produced in cooperation with the Art Museum of Estonia. Most of the works are on loan from the collections of the KUMU, Kadriorg and Tartu art museums as well as the Tallinn City Museum and the Tartu University Library. The show includes work by several major names from Estonian art history, including Adamson-Eric, Johann Köler, Karin Luts and Kristjan Raud. Botanical and floral splendour is also on display in gems selected from art collections in Turku. Rare 18th-century hand-tinted copper engravings from herbariums in the library of Ĺbo Akademi and magnificent porcelain and craft items from the Museum Centre of Turku tell their own, parallel story of the incontestable beauty and everlasting charm of flowers. This exuberant display is rounded off by works from the art collections of the Ett Hem Museum, the City of Turku and the Turku Art Museum. The Floromania exhibition was shown at the KUMU in the spring of 2009. The exhibition at the Turku art Museum has been curated by Christian Hoffmann and Annina Sirén together with Tiina Abel from the KUMU.

Floromania lectures and special guided tour in Finnish:

Sat 6 February at 2 pm, Arno Kasvi: Through a Gardener's Eyes
Sat 20 February at 2 pm, Eva Latvakangas: Return to Paradise – Interaction Between Man and Garden
Sat 6 March at 2 pm, Terttu Lempiäinen: What Does a Botanist See in Art?
Thu 13 May, 1 pm Special guided tour on Flora's Day

Thank you Huiskula Oy.
Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2019