When I check the calendar on my iPhone, it’s easy to isolate March 7th, the day I visited the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden, as the last time I attended a public event at any cultural institution. Maybe ten days later, the NYBG, like every other art museum, gallery and event space in NYC, closed for an indeterminate period of time as part of the Covid-19 shelter-in-place order. The new normal for many of us living in the city means life with little or no contact with nature and art: which is just unacceptable. For this reason, Worleygig.com brings you Art in the Time of Covid. Today we are going to revisit NYBG Orchid Show!
While the Garden is thankfully being tended to by groundskeepers during its closure, the Orchid Show, originally scheduled to run through April 19th, will not reopen this year. If you missed it, you at can least peruse a selection of photos I took during my visit to make you feel as if you were there (#livethroughme)
This year’s 18th annual Orchid Show, entitled Kaleidoscope, was created by Jeff Leatham, famed artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris. Leatham’s bold and colorful vision unfolded through captivating installations and designs, transforming each gallery of the exhibition in the historic glass Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a different color experience and visual effect, like the turn of a kaleidoscope.
Thousands of orchids provided bursts of forms and colors — in purples, reds, oranges, and hot pink — revealed through overhead arches, vine-inspired ribbons, mirrored sculpture, dramatic lighting, and other artistic embellishments.
I didn’t make note of the majority the names of these species, so I will just post for the enjoyment of how lovely they are. All flowers will be presented in the order in which they were seen by me as I travelled through the conservatory!
I believe that there is no better way to improve your skills as a photographer than to take photos of flowers. Who agrees?
This is one of my favorites. Do you wonder why there are so many different types of orchids? Different orchid species evolved to attract specific animal pollinators. Sometimes a flower’s color can hint at its unique pollination mechanism.
Some white and light-colored orchids attract nocturnal moths. Their pale coloration reflects moonlight and makes them visible to moths that can only distinguish between light and dark.
When you are immersed in the flowers and are seeing so many bold shades of purple, magenta and violet colliding with each other, it is easy to tell yourself at the time is that these purple-hued orchids all look alike. But as you can see from just the three examples above, this is not the case in any way. Each variety of orchid is truly unique.
On the map at the very top of this post, you can see that there is a tunnel connecting he show midway that is delightfully illuminated in an ever-changing cascade of rainbow light. This what it looked like inside that tunnel.
Of course, it was a major stop for selfies.
These yellow blossoms are called Dancing Lady (or Oncidium) Orchids. When Oncidium orchids were introduced from the Americas in the 1830s, people thought that their ruffled flowers looked like ladies in swirling skirts. Most of these are epiphytes (tree dwellers). Their slender branches produce many small, fragrant flowers, usually in shades of yellow and brown.
This one looks like it has a very hungry mouth.
This yellow one looks like it could be related to the Daffodil, a flower that we are seeing all over the city this time of year.
Here’s another one with an unusually-shaped blossom.
I’m sure you’ll be able to recognize many of the flowers captured by me for this post in the video below. You can also read more about Jeff Leatham and the Orchid Show at the NYBG Website. Enjoy and stay safe!