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Flowers And Their Meanings

Karen Azoulay
Karen Azoulay
Artists' Books
8 × 10 in
19 pgs
Contemporary Art

Floriography, the language of flowers, is a form of communication that was popular in Victorian times. Botanical species were assigned sentimental meanings that were collected in exhaustive dictionaries, the blooms’ symbolism varying in tone from the sweet (Ivy Geranium conveying the gallant request “Your hand for the next dance?”) to the melodramatic (Vibernum declaring “I die if neglected”) and the downright combative (a dried white rose indicating “death before dishonor”). A thoughtfully curated bouquet could thus deliver a layered poetic memo, which the recipient would be required to decipher. An added complication, however, was the possibility of mistranslation introduced by widespread inconsistencies between reference works.

The content of this dictionary is a compilation of definitions taken from various historic texts alongside illustrative photographs by Azoulay. It is searchable alphabetically by flower as well as by emotion.

This dictionary was published on the occasion of The Perennial at The Grecian Shelter in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY.

Saddle bound, images & text, colour throughout.

  1. Flowers and their meanings

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