fbpx Dutch Connection | George Eastman Museum

Dutch Connection


Friday, February 8–Sunday, February 24, 2019

Celebrate 25 years of Dutch Connection.

Thousands of blooms fill George Eastman’s Conservatory and Palm House with the sights and scents of spring in this annual display. When George Eastman traveled through the Netherlands on a bicycle trip in 1895, he was amazed at the “blaze of color” he saw as he cycled by the fields of flowers. He wrote to his mother that he wanted to have the same effect in his garden at home in Rochester. During Eastman’s residency in the 900 East Avenue mansion between 1905 and 1932, he ordered tens of thousands of bulbs from Holland every year (except 1918, when a wartime coal shortage forced him to close his greenhouses). He usually ordered in large quantities—mostly tulips, narcissus, and hyacinths for indoor forcing, as well as tulips for the outdoor beds. He sometimes ordered amaryllis, azaleas, and begonias. He preferred various shades of orange, red, pink, lavender, yellow, and white—generally grouped monochromatically when he displayed them. A hundred years after Eastman’s bicycling trip, the Eastman Museum started the annual floral show Dutch Connection to pay homage to Eastman’s practice of buying and planting thousands of bulbs.

The present-day display is based on Eastman’s original orders placed with Dutch bulb-importing companies. The cultivation process began last July, with 13,000 bulbs growing since late September. Volunteers and staff potted the tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth, and the pots were then placed in a root cellar in Highland Park, graciously provided by the Monroe County Parks Department. Lucas Greenhouses in Fairport generously provided space to store thousands of the potted bulbs leading up to the display. Finally, the potted bulbs are brought to the museum, where they are thoughtfully arranged in a spectacular display throughout the Conservatory, Colonnade, and Palm House. Tropical orchids courtesy of the Genesee Region Orchid Society are also displayed throughout the mansion.

Dutch Connection is generaously supported by Gerald P. and Karen S. Kral. Root cellar space provided by Monroe County Parks Department, and greenhouse space provided by Lucas Greenhouses.

Free to members; included w/ museum admission.

View or download our Dutch Connection 2019 Flower Guide


Dutch Connection Coffee Talks
Saturdays, February 9, 16 & 23, 9 a.m.
Delve into Dutch Connection at this conversation and tour with Landscape Manager Dan Bellavia.

Focus 45 Talk & Book Signing: The Photographer in the Garden
Saturday, February 9, 12 p.m.
Discover the relationships between photography, botanical images, and gardens. After the talk, Jamie M. Allen will sign copies of The Photographer in the Garden and guests can explore Dutch Connection.

Valentine’s Day Brunch & Film
Sunday, February 10, 9:30 a.m.
Enjoy brunch in the Potter Peristyle, followed by On the Town (1949) in the Dryden.
$45 per person. Reservations required: (585) 327‐4935. Organized by the Eastman Museum Council.

Just for Kids: Plant a Bulb
School Break Week! Saturday, February 16– Sunday, February 24, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Drop in for this hands-on activity to plant a bulb to take home and watch it bloom!
Ages 12 & under (accompanied by an adult).

Live Music Performances
Sundays, 3 p.m.
Feb. 10, Five Point Performance Company
Feb. 17, Train Quartet
Feb. 24, Bernardo Marcondes, guitar

Unless noted, all programs are free to museum members; included with museum admission.

Museum Store
Stop in for Dutch Connection postcards, garden-themed gifts, and The Photographer in the Garden (Aperture/George Eastman Museum, 2018), which Martha Stewart calls “a highly informative and inspiring book.”

Museum members receive 10% off!

25 Years of Dutch Connection

360 Video of Dutch Connection Installation