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Past Exhibits at Selby Gardens

Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series

Begun in 2015, this immersive exhibition series examines master artists and their relationships to nature in the context of a botanical garden. Seeing master works of art—often on loan from major art institutions around the world—in a garden setting awakens new comparisons in viewers’ minds.

Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature (2023)

Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature marked the seventh installment in Selby Gardens’ annual Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series, which examines major artists through the lens of their connection to nature. The 2023 Exhibition celebrated the masterful artistry of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). One of the most influential American artists and designers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Tiffany described his lifelong goal as “the pursuit of beauty,” and he believed that inspiration for art and design should be found in nature. In the first exhibition of its type to be presented in a botanical garden, Selby Gardens showcased Tiffany’s creativity and innovation by highlighting the connection between his art and the natural world. His celebrated stained-glass windows and lamps inspired stunning horticultural displays in the Tropical Conservatory and throughout the Gardens, while outstanding examples of Tiffany’s work in various media, on generous loan from a private collection, were on view in the Museum of Botany & the Arts.

Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light (2022)

Roy Lichtenstein: Monet’s Garden Goes Pop!


This exhibition highlighted the creative practices of Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the foremost photographers of the 20th century, and legendary singer-songwriter and punk-poet Patti Smith, who was Mapplethorpe’s creative soulmate and frequent portrait subject. An immersive, multisensory experience, the exhibition featured several of Mapplethorpe’s exquisite photographs of flowers, Smith’s haunting lyrics and poetry about flowers and nature, and stunning horticultural vignettes in our Tropical Conservatory and Gardens that reflectrf their intertwined work through living art.

This exhibition showcased the legendary Pop artist’s screen prints based on Monet’s world-famous paintings of waterlilies and haystacks. Lichtenstein’s rarely seen Water Lilies and Haystacks provide an unexpected homage to a staple of the public imagination — Monet’s paintings of his garden and home at Giverny that inspired them.

Salvador Dali: Gardens of the Mind (2020)

Gauguin: Voyage to Paradise (2019)

The exhibition featured a bold blending of the expected and the unexpected.  Floral and plant displays in the gardens paid homage to key motifs in Dali’s work such as eggs, eyes, crutches, and mathematical concepts. The Museum of Botany & the Arts showcased ten colorful photolithographs of flowers by Dali, along with works from American photographer Clyde Butcher’s series Visions of Dalí’s Spain.The exhibition was in collaboration with The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Paul Gauguin left an indelible mark on the post-Impressionist art world during the latter part of the 19th Century, and the deep impact of botanical imagery in his work cannot be denied. The exhibition featured dramatic woodcuts and rarely seen works in other mediums by the artist. Living displays throughout the grounds and in the Tropical Conservatory showcased rare and stunning plants from the tropics whose lore influenced Gauguin’s worldwide travel experiences and are featured in his repertoire.

Warhol: Flowers in the Factory (2018)

Marc Chagall, flowers, and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams (2017)

Warhol had an unexpected artistic influence: the natural world. The artist’s particular interest in botanical life was illustrated through a colorful, focused exhibition at Selby Gardens. The exhibition featured four iconic Warhol silkscreens of hibiscus and two poinsettia prints by Warhol. The Gardens were transformed into a floral playground inspired by Warhol. Explosions of color, texture, and height captured Warhol’s energy and created a mutually enriched experience of  art and nature.

This exhibit introduced a new way to examine the artwork of the prolific artist Marc Chagall. Included in the exhibit was his masterwork painting “The Lovers,” (1937). Guests wandered through the Tropical Conservatory adorned with reproductions of Chagall’s nature-inspired stained glass. In the Gardens, flora like orchids, bromeliads, bougainvillea and citrus trees evoked the south of France.

The Orchid Show

As the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns, epiphytes, and tropical plants, Selby Gardens hosts an orchid show each fall at the Downtown Sarasota campus focusing on different themes and complimented by a variety of special lectures, classes, and events.

Take a look at some of our past Orchid Shows below.