Art at the Garden House

Garden House Welcome Center is the permanent home to a variety of art and rotating exhibits.

Rotating Exhibit

Claudia G. Thomas, "Landscapes & Botanicals" on exhibit now through April 9, 2014

After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree from Rollins College, Ms. Thomas literally took to the air, visiting the world’s most renowned museums, through her work with Delta Airlines. Having the opportunity to study Art history in Italy through Rollins College, her interest in art continued and she began studying Plein Air painting back home in Winter Park. Her work is featured in the book 100 Southern Artists by E. Ashley Rooney.


“I enjoy capturing the natural effects of light and changing color throughout the day and interpreting what I see in Nature, as an artist. I am challenged by the Closed Landscape which is more abstract and depicts nature scenes up close with minimal background, than the Open Landscape which is concerned with atmosphere and distance. I’m interested in abstracting the composition but retaining representational content. I attempt to capture subject matter that is half in light and shadow for more dramatic contrasts and look for interesting shapes and color combinations. The majority of the botanical oil paintings are from strolls through and painting on site at Leu Gardens”.

- Claudia G. Thomas


Permanent Exhibits

Mulford B Foster

Eight Paintings: Acreage, Cycadaceae, Orchidacae, Polypodiceae, Palmae, Cactaceae, Pencil Cactus, and Mexican Landscape
Oil on Canvas

A self trained naturalist he traveled throughout Mexico, discovering 200 new species of bromeliads in addition to species of amaryllis, cacti, palms and peperomia. His discoveries include Aechmea fosteriana (bearing his name) and Aechmea orlandiana, named after the city of Orlando. 

Mr. Foster introduced the Tabeuia tree to Orlando and their large yellow blooms can be seen blossoming around many Orlando city lakes. He was awarded the Herbert Medal in 1951 for his work in promoting amaryllids. 

He published articles in National Geographic, The Smithsonian Annual Report, and The Journal of the Bromeliad Society. He published a book with his wife Racine, on their plant collecting travels to Brazil. He was the leading figure of the formation of the Bromeliad Society in 1948. He served as its president for twelve years and edited its bi-monthly bulletin. He died at the age of 89 as the "father of Bromeliads" and a world-renowned horticulturalist. 

Theseabstract works of M.B. Foster earned him the name "passionate plant philosopher" and have been on display at the Maitland Art Center, and shows in New York and Pennsylvania before finding its permanent home at Harry P. Leu Gardens. The Foster Estate presented the paintings as a gift to the City of Orlando in 1992.


 Frank Farmer

Flowers For Janette is a six-foot buy ten-foot piece by artist Frank Farmer in 1995. Frank Farmer’s pieces are well known in Miami, Philadelphia and New York. Created by painting enamel flowers on aluminum, this piece resembles an impressionistic rendering of flower groupings, yet the colors are strong and bold. 



Bill Rollo



John Catterall

Grove Diptych

Chrissie Mervine

Tree of Life