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Blooming Presentations Sit Next To Art Masterpieces At PAFA

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The galleries of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts are "bursting into bloom" now through this Sunday as floral designers and garden clubs show off their creations, interpreting art masterpieces nearby on the walls.

Schaffer Designs' Bill Schaffer and his wife, Kristine Kraft -- four-time Best-In-Show winners at the Philadelphia Flower Show -- designed a feature piece, based on architect Frank Furness' works, including PAFA's historic landmark building, built in 1876.

"He was very much into Gothic arches and Gothic art in particular," Schaffer tells KYW Newsradio.

Kristine Kraft and Bill Schaffer (Credit: Steve Tawa)

So they constructed an 18-feet wide by 12-feet high floral design.

"It'll consist of more than 2,000 stems of Japanese, Dutch and Hawaiian blooms," says Schaffer.

PAFA's Melissa Kaiser says the usually off-limits to the public Cast Hall, and a favorite spot of Thomas Eakins, is open for the event, allowing you to ogle casts replicated from Europe:

"The great masterworks, we have Michelangelo, and Venus di Milo among others, and these are sculptures from which our students draw, paint and sculpt on a daily basis."

PAFA's Melissa Kaiser (Credit: Steve Tawa)

Most of the floral designs are on pedestals, similar in scale to the paintings they're interpreting.

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