The popular orchid exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) returns for its 18th year with The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope. Thousands of orchids are on dramatic display in dazzling creations by lifestyle icon and floral designer to the stars Jeff Leatham in a dramatic setting just 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan.
On view February 15 through April 19, 2020, Leatham’s captivating designs and installations transform each gallery of the exhibition in NYBG’s historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a different color experience, like the turn of a kaleidoscope.
The award-winning artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, Leatham was knighted in 2014 with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor for artists and others who have made a significant contribution to French culture. Leatham, who also has studios at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center and the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, has a client list that includes Cher, Dolly Parton, Tina Turner, Oprah Winfrey, the Kardashians, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In the 2020 Orchid Show, thousands of orchids provide bursts of forms and colors—in purples, reds, oranges, and hot pink—revealed through overhead arches, vine-inspired ribbons, mirrored sculpture, and dramatic lighting, and other artistic embellishments. Leatham worked with horticulturists from NYBG, including Senior Curator of Orchids Marc Hachadourian, to assemble orchids from its collections as well as from some of the finest growers in the world. Orchids of seemingly every conceivable shape and provenance, including rare and iconic specimens, are on display in breathtaking configurations.
“Color is the first and most important aspect of my work, always,” Jeff Leatham said when describing his creations for The Orchid Show. “I want every gallery to be a different color experience for visitors as they move through them, like looking into a kaleidoscope. I loved kaleidoscopes as a child. You start dreaming as you look through one. People have seen the interiors of the Conservatory already, but with this exhibition, I want them to look through them like never before.”
Visitors to The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope are greeted by purple vandas suspended above a 10-foot-tall mirrored orchid sculpture with a fountain of water streaming into a black pool. Other galleries and spaces of the exhibition, each designed in its own color scheme, include plantings of green and white cymbidiums amid grasses, yellow orchid arches, and a kaleidoscopic tunnel of lights.
Exhibition Programming Features Stylish Orchid Evenings, a Designer Talk, and More
During Orchid Evenings on select dates throughout the run of The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, adults 21 and over can experience the exhibition at night with music, cash bars, and light bites. Princess Lockeroo, one of today’s leading Vogue and Waacking- style dancer-choreographers, teams up with renowned musician Harold O’Neal for a fierce and fabulous performance. Come dressed in your boldest floral-inspired fashion and express yourself on the runway. Purchase a cocktail, beer, wine, and more from one of NYBG’s seasonal bars. Local flavors from the Bronx Night Market celebrate the city’s diverse culture. Advance ticket purchase is recommended to guarantee admission to these signature events. Visit www.nybg.org/event/the-orchid-show/orchid-evenings/ for more details.
On Thursday, February 20, at 11. a.m., in NYBG’s Ross Hall, hear Jeff Leatham discuss how he brings his floral designs to life. A Q & A session and book signing will follow. Registration for “Floral Design Talk with Jeff Leatham” is required.
Other exhibition programming includes Orchid Basics Q&A on Saturdays and Sundays, 1–4 p.m. at NYBG Shop where staff help customers select the best orchid for the home, and Orchid Care Demonstrations on Sundays at 1 and 2 p.m. in the Haupt Conservatory Green School, where orchid experts provide advice on how to choose and successfully grow these elegant plants.
Round out an Orchid Show visit at NYBG Shop and select from thousands of top-quality orchids, from exotic, hard-to-find specimens for connoisseurs to elegant yet easy-to-grow varieties for beginners available for purchase, along with orchid products and books.
For more information about The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope and to purchase tickets, please visit nybg.org.