Press release: ‘Cross-Pollination’ examines floral imagery in European textiles and porcelain

By | April 10, 2017

ST. LOUIS, April 10, 2017—The Saint Louis Art Museum will present “Cross-Pollination: Flowers in 18th-Century European Textiles and Porcelain,” a free exhibition on view in Gallery 100 from May 26 through Nov. 26.

Cross-Pollination examines the evolution of floral imagery in European textiles, clothing, and porcelain from about 1735 to 1785. It considers the unprecedented wealth of source materials available to artists, designers, and manufacturers, as the interest in natural science—notably botany—became widespread in aristocratic, artistic, and scientific circles. While naturalism was a prevailing trend across the decorative arts in this period, the vibrant colors and painterly effects achievable in textiles and porcelain allowed for the depiction of remarkably artful and accurate flowers.

(To download web-sized images, right click on the images below.)

Genevieve Cortinovis

The exhibition will feature a number of artworks never before exhibited at the museum. Outstanding recent acquisitions include a rare silk damask by the English textile designer Anna Maria Garthwaite and an exceptional tureen and stand from a little-known Meissen dinner service. Two mid-18th-century dresses made of exquisite floral silk will be presented alongside recent gifts of Chelsea porcelain delicately painted with sprays of lilies, roses, and violets.

In addition to 23 works from the museum’s collection, the exhibition will feature important loans, including rare illustrated books and plant specimens from the Missouri Botanical Garden and a local private collection.

“Cross-Pollination” is curated by Genevieve Cortinovis, assistant curator of decorative arts and design.

CONTACT: Matthew Hathaway, 314.655.5493,