Museum Council Steering Committee
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Art in Bloom
April 30‑May 2, 2016

2016 marks the 40th celebration of Art in Bloom, the annual celebration of spring at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Held at the end of April, Art in Bloom is a major three-day event, organized and staffed by the MFA Associates and Senior Associates,* enlisting the support of the entire Museum and its staff.

While Art in Bloom started in 1976, many people do not know that this event  began in an effort to increase membership and bring visitors into parts of the Museum new to them. Chuck Thomas, then director of membership, turned to the MFA Associates (then the Ladies Committee) with the idea of exhibiting floral interpretations of masterpieces in the Museum’s collection. Since then, Art in Bloom has grown enormously and similar events occur at other Museums and organizations. Originally, the floral designs exhibited in Art in Bloom were created by members of the MFA Associates, but as the annual event grew, local Garden Clubs were encouraged to participate. Today, 51 garden clubs from all over New England participate and the event brings 20,000 visitors to the Museum.

On February 29, fifty-one participating Garden Clubs came to the Museum to see the objects they will interpret and to learn the procedures put in place for Art in Bloom participation. On April 29, at 6:30 am, the designers will arrive at the Museum with their materials. By 9:15 am, their arrangements will be ready. The designers are required to return each morning at 7 am to water and refresh their floral designs.

Visit Art in Bloom for event details. One event to note is the Friday, April 29, guided tour—for $25 you can get a sneak peek of the Art in Bloom celebration.

*Since 1956, MFA Associates and Senior Associates have volunteered to support the Museum’s efforts to increase membership and offer an engaging experience to all visitors.  Associates join the program for four years, and receive extensive training to become either Guides for the Museum’s free public tours, or Floral Designers, who each week create and maintain the flower arrangements throughout the Museum. Associates also help staff the Sharf Visitor Information Center, plan special events for Members and the public, and are responsible for organizing and running Art in Bloom each year. After the four-year term, Associates may become Senior Associates and continue to serve the Museum in their areas of interest.  ast year, 78 Associates and 471 Senior Associates together contributed 44,000 volunteer hours of service to the MFA.