Phipps Conservatory’s Summer Flower Show – Van Gogh in Bloom

Last Updated on by Jeremy

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Oakland is one of the pride and jewels of Pittsburgh. Each season the conservatory unveils a new show that features impressive artistic displays as well as unique seasonal flowers that will have you coming back time and time again.

The Summer Flower Show in 2019 is themed “Van Gogh in Bloom” and features some of this master's wonderful works re-imagined with flowers as the medium!

As with previous shows, we do not like to give everything away in our reviews. Instead, we're only featuring a select few of our favorite rooms and are leaving the rest for you to enjoy on your visit!

The Phipps Welcome Center (Lobby)

Van Gogh in Bloom at Phipps

Most flower shows at Phipps Conservatory begin when you enter the Palm Court, but Van Gogh in Bloom starts in the Welcome Center itself.

The reason for this is because the first thing you see when entering the building is a creation of Van Gogh's self-portrait made entirely out of flowers! This one really helps get you in the mood for what is to come.

The Sunken Garden

Phipps Summer Flower Show

The Sunken Garden takes on an indoor scene, The Night Cafe, painted in 1888.

In this one, you can enjoy billiard tables in the central garden, a bar at the far end, and tables with wine glasses and liquor bottles scattered throughout. This room is quite immersive and really made us want to play a game of pool just like in the painting!

The Butterfly Forest in the Stove Room

Stove Room at Phipps

The Stove Room is never themed for a flower show, but we love it for the summer displays all the same because the butterflies are out in large numbers!

During my visit to 2019's show, the butterflies were the most active I've ever seen them at Phipps, part of which is likely due to their affinity to the flowers that are out on display this season. No matter where I looked, a half dozen or so butterflies could be seen resting on the flowers, which made for great photo opportunities!

The Serpentine Room

Wheatfield with Cypresses at Phipps

This year the Serpentine Room is split up into two exhibits with a flower wall divider halfway through the room.

In the first half, the room is converted into a day-time scene mimicking Wheatfield with Cypresses, painted by Van Gogh in 1889. Pass through the door, and the opposing side turns what is arguably Van Gogh's most famous night scene, Starry Night (also painted in 1889). 

The neat thing about this scene is both paintings feature Cypress trees prominently, and give a look at the artist's take of the trees during the day and night, all within just a few steps of each other!

The East Room

The East Room

No trip to Phipps is complete without a stop to appreciate The East Room- always one of our favorites. For Van Gogh in Bloom, this room features The Red Vineyard Near Arles, painted in 1888, which illustrates farmers working in a field. 

This room is always great at providing an added depth of field into the show as you cannot walk into the scene and really makes you appreciate it all from a distance- just as in the painting.

While we cannot give away the secrets of all the rooms at Phipps Conservatory for the Summer Flower Show, we can say that even more Van Gogh scenes await you during a visit to Van Gogh in Bloom!

The Summer Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory runs through September 2019. We'd like to thank Phipps Conservatory for inviting us to check out the Summer Flower Show! As always, all opinions are our own.

After visiting the Phipps Summer Flower Show, be sure to take a walk around Schenley Park!

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