Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Selby Gardens prepares for Chagall exhibit in 2017

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to enhance visitor experience by pairing exhibit series and horticultural displays.

  • By
  • | 6:00 a.m. December 10, 2015
Courtesy photo. "The Lovers" by Marc Chagall - The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Courtesy photo. "The Lovers" by Marc Chagall - The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
  • Sarasota
  • News
  • Share

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens President and CEO Jennifer Rominiecki has a love for the art of Marc Chagall. Beginning in February 2017, she'll be able to share her passion for the late Russian-French artist's work with the Sarasota community, when Selby opens "Marc Chagall’s Cote d’Azur: The Artist’s Botanical Imagery and Inspiration Found on the French Riviera," which will be open for six months.

It's the first time that the Chagall's work will be featured in Sarasota. Many of his works are based in nature and focus on botanical imagery making it a perfect fit for the gardens.

Through Rominiecki's connections from her previous role as vice president for institutional advancement at New York Botanical Garden in Bronx, N.Y., she secured the exhibit in August. 

"I think a loan like this from an international, tremendously respected museum shows that Sarasota is not only an arts capital in Florida but actually an arts capital in the world," Rominiecki said. "At the same time, this loan draws attention to the level of excellence of Selby Gardens' world-class plant collections and demonstrates the ties between nature and the arts."

It's first exhibit of the Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition series that is designed to incorporate interdisciplinary arts and horticultural displays. It will be displayed in the historic Christy Payne Mansion that also houses the Selby Gardens’ Museum of Botany & the Arts.

"When visitors come to Selby Gardens during this exhibit, they will be immersed in Chagall's world from the French Riviera," Rominiecki said. "Everything from the plants on display to special performances and classes will add layers to this experiential, living exhibit." 

Rominiecki describes a goal of bringing more original works by world-renowned artists to the non-traditional art museum venue and complementing them with the gardens. The Chagall exhibit is a fitting start for the series because of the context of the botanical gardens in his work. 

Chagall was originally from Belarus but made his home in Paris. For a period of time, he resided in the United States while fleeing persecution from the Nazis. Regardless of his surroundings, his Jewish and Russian heritage influenced his paintings. In 1950, he and his family moved to the French Riviera to Saint Paul de Vence, upon which the Cote d'Azur exhibit is based. 

The goal for the exhibit is to completely immerse fans of modern artist in his world from the moment they enter the gates to the gardens. 

The horticultural displays will reflect this partnership and depict the French Riviera that inspired Chagall in St. Paul De Vence. A changing exhibit in the Tropical Conservatory will be reminiscent of the village where Chagall spent the latter part of his life.

The guest experience will also feature complimentary education programs, tours and themed special events, including French-themed performances by local performing arts organizations. There will also be French Riviera-themed food and drink, cooking demonstrations, led by Selby's new culinary partner, Michael’s On East.

The total number of works is still up for discussion. However, one major work, "The Lovers" will be on loan from The Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee has agreed to be the lead sponsor for the exhibit. 

“We are excited to share this magnificent masterpiece with the entire community as we begin our countdown to Israel’s 70th birthday.” said Howard Tevlowitz, executive director of the Jewish Federation, in a news release.

In the future, Rominiecki hopes to hold artist exhibits that will transform the entire gardens into a living gallery. 

"This new exhibition program is an exciting shift for Selby Gardens, and it raises the bar for all of our public programs," Rominiecki said. 


Related Articles