A public garden & cultural center

Abbie Zabar

Ten Years of Flowers | June 7, 2015–October 4, 2015 

Pictured above: 6.23.02 (detail); 7 5/8" x 7 3/16"; collection of Carla LaGrassa; pencil on black board

Abbie Zabar exhibits a selection of drawings from her series Flowers in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 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, struck, each week,  by the inventive arrangements. Zabar’s experience as a gardener and her innate knowledge of the flowers, fronds and leaves before her, allowed her to capture the arrangements 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. Her landscape collages have been represented by Allan Stone and BlumHelman, and the 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 (Water Mill, NY), 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 (Pittsburgh, PA) and the Smithsonian Museum. Zabar’s illustrated articles have appeared in Garden DesignHorticultureFine GardeningGourmet andThe New York Times, as well as in numerous esteemed British publications. 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.


Pictured above: 6.23.02; 7 5/8" x 7 3/16"; collection of Carla LaGrassa; pencil on black board

Pictured above: 2.1.97 – 9.25.14; 8 7/8" x 8 3/8"; collection of Artist; pencil on paper

Pictured above: 10.16.99; 6 3/8" x 6 7/8"; collection of Artist; pencil on cardboard

Pictured above: 2.4.02; 7 1/2" x 7 1/4"; collection of Artist; pencil on cardboard

Pictured above: 12.6.94; 8 1/2" x 8 1/2"; collection of Artist; pencil on paper

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.