Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mums the word

All the rage...

Two astonishing photographs, circa 1910, were recently donated to the HSNY Library by the grandson of a former board member. John Canning (1874-1940), horticulturist and superintendent of the White Plains estate of Adolph Lewisohn, also a board member, won a series of prizes for extraordinary bush chysanthemums. For many years HSNY’s Annual Autumn Exibition was held at the American Museum of Natural History. These chysanthemums were exhibited in the foyer of the Museum.

From the HSNY archives this rapt description of the 31st Annual Autumn Exhibition:
Over 65,000 people swarmed through the doors of the American Museum of Natural History during the four-day exhibit.. Despite weather hazards and the recent hurricane, the quantity and variety of plant material equaled, if not surpassed, that of other years. Chrysanthemums, Orchids, Roses, Gourds, vegetables, and a plentiful supply of miscellaneous flowers were displayed.”

Mums the word… Guess what was in the foyer? This chrysanthemum chair which took first prize for standards, or plants trained in intriguing forms.

Article by Katherine Powis, HSNY Librarian

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