Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: flowers, poetry and light


Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Selby Gardens) highlights the creative practices of Robert Mapplethorpeone of the most important photographers of the 20th century and legendary singer-songwriter and poet Patti Smith in an immersive, multi-sensory exhibit that opens this weekend on the 15-acre downtown Sarasota campus. Marking the sixth edition of Selby Gardens’ annual Jean & Alfred Goldstein exhibition series, which explores the work of major artists through the lens of their connection to nature, the exhibition features a selection of iconic orchid photographs , hyacinths and irises by Mapplethorpe, and Smith’s poems on flowers and nature and his music, in dialogue with new horticultural installations inspired by the work of the two artists.

Mapplethorpe and Smith met the day Smith moved to New York in the summer of 1967. Their enduring relationship, through which the two spent time as artistic collaborators, lovers, and ultimately friends, proved formative. for the creative practice and artistic production of the other. Flowers, poetry and light reunites Mapplethorpe and Smith in a garden, showcasing works of each inspired by nature during the counterculture movements of the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

On view from February 13 to June 26, 2022, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: flowers, poetry and light is curated by Dr Carol Ockman, at-Large Curator of Selby Gardens and Robert Sterling Clark Emeritus Professor of Art History at Williams College.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
1534 Mound St.
Sarasota, FL 34236


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