Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Porcelain Flowers of Vladimir Kanevsky at Hillwood

I'm back here at the blog to let you know about an amazing exhibit that has recently opened in Washington at Hillwood, the Marjorie Merriweather Post mansion turned museum.  I've written about Hillwood on numerous occasions and also about the artist whose amazing work they are currently featuring: Vladimir Kanevsky
I last wrote about Kanevsky in conjunction with Hillwood 3 years ago HERE when he did a lilac centerpiece on the table of designer Alex Papachristidis, similar to the lilac to be found in the library today.    These are no ordinary blooms however.  They are the most convincing and charming FAUX flowers you have ever seen, created out of copper, porcelain, and paint. 
The nice thing about these faux flowers, other than their lack of maintenance, is that they can be displayed throughout the mansion without a lot of fuss: no drips.  See the Amaryllis in the living room above naked without a drip plate!
I would like to think if Post were still living she would be a collector of Kanevsky's work.  
Part of the charm of these flowers are their imperfections similar to real flowers - holes in leaves, etc.  
The only thing missing is the scent: the lily of the valley seen below would be most fragrant!
Other than the lilac, I think my favorite piece may be the dandelion, warts and all. Weed as art!
This humble thistle may be a close second. 
The fun thing about creating these flowers is one gets to play with scale - the tulips shown on the breakfast room table below are simply ENORMOUS. 
The piece de resistance of the whole exhibit is to be seen in the dining room where about 1/2 of the collection is displayed. 
Cheek by Jowl, they are almost hard to study individually...
Though the morning glory does its best to reach out to the viewer! 
Given how difficult dahlia are to grow I think a Kanevsky version is a sound investment. 
And Washington's famous but short-lived cherry blossoms are no match for these stems.
Ordinarily Hillwood is full of fresh flowers from the garden, much as during Post's time at the house. The lack of real blooms allows one to focus on the details where you realize, flowers are depicted everywhere, even on the curtains!
Even the dining room sconces feature fruit.
The breakfast room still does sport a large collection of orchids in the bay window, no fear. 
Spring is a glorious time to visit Hillwood for the gardens, but please do visit and enjoy the magic of Vladimir Kanevsky as well.
The Porcelain Flowers of Vladimir Kanevsky is on view NOW through September 5th, 2021 throughout the mansion at Hillwood.  
Reservations are required so don't plan on stopping by without one!

All photos used throughout this post are my own.