Worldwide, the indelible image of the Netherlands is the tulip. But the tulip is not alone: flowers of all kinds have long been a key part of both Dutch identity and the Dutch economy, and in Holland Flowering, Andrew Gebhardt offers a dazzling tour of Dutch flower culture, from the earliest days of horticulture to attempts to grow bulbs on the moon.
Building his account around the world’s largest flower auction, Aalsmeer’s, which is located near Amsterdam, Gebhardt links past and present, petals and painting, colonial trading and the European Union. The resulting book is as unusual as it is ambitious, full of insights into horticulture, the workings of markets, globalization, aesthetics, and Dutch popular culture.
–University of Chicago Press
‘Andrew Gebhardt approaches that mysterious, compelling beauty, the tulip — over which fortunes have been built and ruined, and every art of the gardener, poet and most especially the painter lavished — through a varied and revealing set of lenses: economics, cultural studies, horticultural practice, and the history of everything from global trading to aesthetics and auctions, and how flowers became so deeply tied to our most significant occasions. An eye-opening, expansive book.’
–Mark Doty, author of Still Life with Oysters and Lemon, and winner of the National Book Award, the T.S. Eliot Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
‘William Blake saw the universe in a grain of sand; Andrew Gebhardt finds it in a tulip’s bloom. Fluidly written, deeply researched, and full of surprising turns, this book is about so much more than flowers. Highly recommended.’
–Dr. Christopher Ryan, co-author of New York Times best seller Sex at Dawn
‘Blossoming forth in all sorts of unexpected directions, Holland Flowering’s petals open out to reflect and encompass an entire world, one well beyond mere flowers: our world.’
–Lawrence Weschler, winner of National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, and director emeritus, New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU
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