A Floral Still Life with the Philadelphia Museum of Art


Last week at Styer's, members of the Philadelphia Museum of Art gathered for a cocktail hour to celebrate the museum's newest exhibition-- Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life. The centerpiece of the evening was an abundant floral still life, inspired by the exhibit and arranged by Design by Terrain's Katie Blevins. Katie and fellow designer Matt Muscarella enjoyed a guided tour at the museum to gather inspiration, then created the enchanting display above using richly-colored flowers and seasonal fruits. 

Katie says, "My arrangement was inspired by the paintings of Severin Roesen, a nineteenth-century artist recognized for his still lifes. Relatively little is known about his life, but he produced over 300 paintings while living in New York and Pennsylvania. The materials I chose for this project were based on seasonality and a color palette reminiscent of the paintings. In many of the works, the scene is dark, with an arrangement placed against a glossy, black surface to create a wonderfully reflected effect. I responded the most to these darker, moodier pieces.

"Alongside ranunculus, peonies, anemones, and other blooms in deep, saturated hues, I included sliced and whole fruits as a nod to Roesen's signature subjects. Cutting the fruit in half to reveal its natural colors and textures helped to create interest and the intentionally disheveled look I wanted to achieve. I used fresh pomegranates, persimmons, and figs against a backdrop of rumpled, black linen. Along with Roesen, some of my fondest inspiration came from florists I admire. Designers like Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua, Brittany Asch of Brrch Floral, and my colleague Matt have embraced an effortless and unexpected view of the botanical world. They continue to inspire me every day."

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