Abbie Zabar: Ten Year of Flowers on View in Wave Hill’s Tea Room

June 7–October 4, 2015

Wave Hill is pleased to present a selection of drawings from Abbie Zabar’s Flowers in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on view in the Wave Hill House Tea Room from June 7 to October 4, 2015. For a decade, Zabar visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a weekly basis to draw the glorious arrangements on display in the Great Hall. Each week she was struck by the inventive arrangements, comprising everything, she notes, from “exotic blossoms from around the world” to “humble pickings from local roadsides.” Zabar’s experience as a gardener and her innate knowledge of the flowers, fronds and leaves before her, allowed her to capture them with a sure and deft hand, well before the Museum opened its doors for the day. Working in situ and in pencil—the only implement allowed in the space—her drawings showcase the vibrancy, variety and vitality of the displays, as captured in one quick sitting. The exercise was an important weekly practice for Zabar. 

Abbie Zabar is an acclaimed artist, graphic and garden designer, and the author of five books. Her first book, The Potted Herb (1988), is now considered a gardening classic. She has created garden and graphic designs for numerous prestigious companies and organizations, including Bergdorf Goodman, Daniel Boulud’s restaurants and PS 198. Her landscape collages have been represented by Allan Stone and BlumHelman, and Flowers in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art series has been represented by Ursus Books & Prints and the Horticultural Society of New York. Her artwork has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Parrish Museum, the International Paper Corporation, the Louvre, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London) and the Vigeland Museum (Oslo), and is part of the permanent collections of the Mead Paper Corporation of America, the Brooklyn Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation and the Smithsonian Museum. 

Zabar’s illustrated articles have appeared in Garden Design, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Gourmet and The New York Times, as well as in numerous esteemed British publications. She received the 2010 Award for Best Newspaper Writing from the Garden Writers of America for her piece “A Vine in the Sky,” published in The Forward. In 2014, she was honored with the NARGS Carleton R. Worth Award, given to an author of distinguished writings about rock gardening and rock garden plants. Zabar is currently the Program Chairperson for the Manhattan Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and a Learning Leader at P.S. 198.

The arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The New York Community Trust, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts. 

Wave Hill, Inc. is an independent, non-profit cultural institution governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The buildings and grounds of Wave Hill are owned by the City of New York. With the assistance of the Bronx Borough President and Bronx representatives in the City Council and State Legislature, Wave Hill’s operations are supported with public funds through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Grant Program administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; and the New York State Council on the Arts.

About Us

Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.