Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Selby Gardens) spotlights the creative practices of Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century, and legendary singer-songwriter and poet Patti Smith in an immersive and multisensory exhibition opening this weekend in the Gardens’ 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus. Marking the sixth edition of Selby Gardens’ annual Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series, which explores the work of major artists through the lens of their connection to nature, the exhibition presents a selection of Mapplethorpe’s iconic photographs of orchids, hyacinths, and irises, and Smith’s poems on flowers and nature as well as her music, in dialogue with new horticultural installations inspired by the two artists’ work.
Mapplethorpe and Smith met the day that Smith moved to New York City in the summer of 1967. Their enduring relationship, through which the two spent time as artistic collaborators, lovers, and ultimately friends, proved formative to each other’s creative practice and artistic output. Flowers, Poetry, and Light reunites Mapplethorpe and Smith in a garden setting, presenting works by each inspired by nature during the counterculture movements of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.
On view from February 13 through June 26, 2022, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light is curated by Dr. Carol Ockman, Selby Gardens’ Curator-at-Large and the Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art History Emerita at Williams College.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
1534 Mound St
Sarasota, FL 34236