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Eastman House fills Conservatory with flowers

Rochester, N.Y., January 31, 2011—George Eastman House presents virtual springtime, with the 17th annual exhibition The Dutch Connection: George Eastman's Conservatory in Winter Bloom, on view Friday, Feb. 11 through Saturday, Feb. 26.This colorful, interpretive exhibition will feature thousands of flowering bulbs, re-creating Eastman's 1911 display of flowers from Holland - ordered from the same Dutch company Eastman used. 
The two-week display is a welcome treat for the eyes and nose in the midst of winter. The Conservatory display each week will feature thousands of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, amaryllis, amaryllis, and freesias, in various vibrant shades - the same colors Eastman featured 100 years ago. In addition, tropical orchids will be displayed throughout the restored rooms of Eastman's house, courtesy of the Genesee Region Orchid Society. Also on view will be artifacts from 1911, related to Eastman and Eastman Kodak Company (details at end of release).
During Eastman's residency at the house 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) to decorate his Conservatory. The orders were mostly for tulips, narcissus, and hyacinths for indoor forcing, plus tulips for the outside beds. These bulbs were forced in his on-site greenhouses.
Eastman's nostalgic annual bulb orders stemmed from a trip he made to Holland in 1890, when he was lured by the tulip fields while bicycling through the countryside. The present-day display is based on Eastman's original orders placed with Dutch bulb-importing companies. The cultivation process began last July, with 6,000 bulbs growing since October.

Dutch Connection Lecture
1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 and 1:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20  
Join Landscape Curator Amy Kinsey at this illustrated lecture where the audience will learn about the months of effort that go into coaxing 6,000 bulbs to life for the two-week exhibition and hear about the history of the show. The lecture will be held in the Curtis Theatre followed by a guided tour of The Dutch Connection exhibition. Included with museum admission.

Bulb Sale
Potted tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils will be sold during The Dutch Connection, with all proceeds benefiting the exhibition.
Group Tours
George Eastman House is offering private group tours of The Dutch Connection during regular museum hours. Please call the Visitor Engagement Manager at (585) 271-3361 ext. 238.
George Eastman in 1911
Artifacts from 1911 related to Eastman and Eastman Kodak Company will be on view in conjunction with The Dutch Connection, on the second floor of the house. Happenings include:
Approval for the construction of the new 16-story Kodak Tower in summer 1911.
George Eastman started his model tenement project in 1911, to house employees who did not want to live in the suburbs or "slums." So land purchases would not be tied to his name, Eastman placed all the deeds in the name of his childhood friend Frank L. Babbott (the display will include letter to Babbott asking for his permission to use his name).
In 1911 the Hawk-Eye Works, located at Driving Park Boulevard and St. Paul Street, officially got its name.
In 1911, George Eastman formed the Musical Council of Rochester, the precursor to the Rochester Orchestra and ultimately Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

George Eastman's second cousin Morton Rundel passed away, and bequeathed the money he earned form Kodak stocks for the construction of a city library, ultimately the Rundel Library.
Kodak introduced in 1911 the No. 3 Folding Pocket Kodak Special, which featured a smooth-grain Morocco-leather finish and new high-quality European lenses and shutters. 
And the display will feature a photograph of George Eastman at Oak Lodge, his hunting cabin in the South, where he called himself "overweight," alongside a camping photograph from a six-week excursion to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he ultimately lost 20 lbs.
The Dutch Connection will be on display 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; until 8 p.m. Thursday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Included with regular museum admission. For information visit www.eastmanhouse.org or call (585) 271-3361.
The Dutch Connection is made possible by Grossmans Garden & Home. For the last 17 years, The Dutch Connectionn has been possible due to the generous support of Gerald P. and Karen S. Kral.