Delphinium, or What Does the Larkspur Do in the Museum?

In 1936, photographer and horticulturist Edward Steichen exhibited live plants for the first time at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. The exhibition, titled "Steichen's Delphiniums," showcased specimens of his larkspur breeding. Despite the short duration of only one week, this exhibition laid the historical foundation for displaying live plants in the context of art. As plants are currently ubiquitous in exhibitions of contemporary art, it is worth critically reviewing the beginnings of this exhibition concept.

Oliver Klimpel and Leoni Fischer from the Curatorial Workshop of the Bauhaus Dessau are conducting research and developing an exhibition on "Steichen's Delphiniums," which will be presented in Dessau in 2025. Together with Mateo Chacón Pino, a research associate from the documenta Institute, they are discussing the fundamentals of exhibiting plants, exploring how such exhibitions and artworks can be historically contextualized, and contemplating how historical exhibitions can be reimagined. The event aims to foster an open dialogue, allowing larkspur enthusiasts, art historians, artists, and the interested public to engage in discussions with representatives from the Bauhaus Dessau and the documenta Institute.

Talk/Workshop July 5, 2023, 6-8 PM

Location: traces Research Station, Lutherplatz, 34117 Kassel