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AIS:Shows & Beginnings


From: StorYlade@aol.com

Dear Anner,

I've just read your reply to my (12-07-99)) on iris shows, and, since I 
didn't save my original piece, I can't testify to the original content; 
however, I know what I've read and what appears to be common sense to me.  

I commented that shows (and the AIS) were promoted and/or created for the 
promotion of irises by the hybridizers and commercial growers of iris.  
You replied--< I don't know what time frame you are talking about but, > 

Any time frame, actually.  Marketers must create a demand for their product, 
any product, to stay in business.  Irises are product.  Although it is true 
that flower shows were among the activities developed to provide pastime for 
the privileged or idle rich, there appears to be involvement of iris 
hybridizers and commercial growers of irises at most, if not all, stages of 
iris development in the US.  What other motivation would persuade hybridizers 
to spend time at shows and commercial growers to spend time giving programs 
at conventions when they need that time in the garden?  I think it's called 
promotion.  I'm guessing the same is true abroad.  Not to be involved in all 
phases would be business suicide.  

<for instance at the shows under the aegis of the Massachusetts 
Horticultural Society at which Grace Sturtevant exhibited her seedlings>
< it also said that 
public interest was to be generated through "published articles, bulletins, 
photographs, lantern slides, and lectures." >
< Bertrand Farr, an AIS Director as well as hybridizer, judged it.>

I'm glad to see your research backs my theory.  Hybridizers were among the 
founders as I'd concluded.  

<Some AIS founders and early directors were commercial growers and 
clearly they benefited from the enhanced exposure during the iris-mad 
twenties, but as I read the record, the impetus for these first iris shows 
was a passionate conviction on the part of some powerful amateur 
horticulturists that exposure to beauty through gardening was a force for 
social good. My impression is that most of these women were rich as Croesus 
and you could not have corrupted them if you had tried.>  

I meant no suggestion of corruption.  (Perhaps they were unwitting tools!  
OOPS!  There I go again!)  I spoke in the tone of the thread which spoke of 
devious actions by TB people and AIS in general.  It was not intended to 
carry historical accuracy, but was tongue in cheek.  I've a strange sense of 
humor that doesn't always translate with the written word. In all honesty, at 
that moment, I was amusing myself.  I felt the thread was getting out of hand 
and I was trying to provide a little comic relief.

Betty in Bowling Green, KY where the hard freeze finally took the starch out 
of remaining seedling stalks.  

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