Search Results:

<< Viewing Record 81 of 146 >>
View : Light Box | List View | Image List | Detailed

Maker(s):Flavin, Dan; Flavin, Sonja
Culture:American (Dan 1933 - 1997) (Sonja 1936 - )
Title:Barbara Roses
Date Made:1962-1965
Materials:white glazed terracotta flower pot, porcelain light fixture with pull chain containing an Aerolux Flowerlite light bulb
Place Made:United States
Measurements:overall: 8 1/4 x 4 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.; 20.955 x 12.065 x 12.065 cm
Narrative Inscription:  signed, dated and numbered around hole on underside of pot: 1962 - 65 NO. 5 SONJA AND DAN FLAVIN
Accession Number:  SC 1975.36.4
Credit Line:Gift of Philip C. Johnson
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art

flower pot with central bare bulb containing a small metal flower which lights up, comes with extra light bulbs in a box; flower

Label Text:
"It’s important to me that I don’t get my hands dirty. It’s not because I’m instinctively lazy. It’s a declaration: art is thought."
Dan Flavin

Barbara Roses can be read as a lighthearted visual pun and as an example of Dan Flavin’s declaration that “art is thought.” In this playful work, Flavin and his then wife, artist Sonja Flavin, have simply placed an Aerolux Flowerlite light bulb in an ordinary terracotta pot. The pull chain illuminates the tiny flower inside the bulb.

This humorous work was eventually created in four editions. Originally titled Violet Flowers, the first pot was given as a birthday present in 1964 to art critic Barbara Rose (Smith College, class of 1957), for whom the flower pots were retitled. The Museum’s work is the fifth pot created in the first edition of ten.

Mass-produced, fluorescent light tubes would later become Dan Flavin’s signature material in large-scale installations and sculptures.

allegory; flowers

Link to share this object record:

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email

<< Viewing Record 81 of 146 >>