Roses with Personality: Pink Ladies and Crimson Gents

Mme. Eugene E. Marlitt

Mme. Eugene E. Marlitt, one of the stunning
photographs on display in Antique Roses:
Pink Ladies and Crimson Gents
through Sept. 1.

Tomorrow, the photographic exhibition Antique Roses: Pink Ladies and Crimson Gents officially opens to the public.

These are no ordinary flower photos.

The flowers themselves are special – bred in honor of certain people – from famous generals and philosophers to ordinary folks – to reflect their individual personalities. The amazing photography of Don Glentzer showcases these roses brilliantly, and excerpts from a book of the same name by his wife, Molly Glentzer fill us in on the fascinating stories behind their creation.

Don was kind enough to share his method for creating these stunning images with us:

The images in the Pink Ladies and Crimson Gents exhibit are designed to be formal portraits similar in composition and detail to the botanical illustrations of early 19th century artists such as Pierre Joseph Redoute. The light quality is very soft, like a partly cloudy day that minimizes shadows and enhances the texture, shape and color of each rose petal.
The roses were photographed at the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas, and two gardens located in northern California. I constructed a small-scale tabletop studio in motel rooms near each garden to pose the roses against a white background. I had one blooming season to photograph 50 roses. This was a daunting task considering that many old fashioned roses are not grown for “show” or coddled to produce perfect blooms and pristine leaves. Writer Molly Glentzer, my wife, worked alongside me to find beautiful specimens that would also lend themselves to good stories.
The digital prints produced for the show are printed on Museo silver rag paper with Epson archival inks.
To learn more about Pink Ladies & Crimson Gents: Portraits and Legends of 50 Roses, you can visit our website (starting next week) at

Don Glentzer
May, 2008

Don’t miss the Glentzer’s upcoming Behind The Scenes Tour of their exhibit, on June 17. They’ll walk you through the exhibit to share the fascinating stories behind each of these spectacular roses and the creation of these gorgeous images.

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