The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Passport to Paris

Indoor Landscaping  |   NYC, NY


Design  |  Installation   

Indoor Plantings  |  Atriums

A Timeless Fusion of Design and History

The world’s most renowned home of art and artifact curates a show to feature the great masters of Impressionism and their most documented muse, the garden. The exhibit’s intention is to tell the horticultural story that informed the development of 19th century French landscapes, both public and private, with their unmatched collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings depicting them.

The resulting design graces the ceremonial scale of the exhibit’s grand atrium entrance, while also delivering an unexpected parklike respite to all museum visitors. The micro climates and unique conditions were addressed in coordination with the client to confirm a precisely edited plant palette that inspires visitors with a timeless fusion of design and history. The paintings remain the star of the show, while the plantings amplify it with true scale reference and sensory engagement that truly delight each guest.



The MET was looking to fill the central courtyard within the exhibition—a soaring space illuminated by an immense skylight—designed to evoke a French conservatory garden of the period.

Andrew E.



The exhibits’ goal of documenting this garden inspiration required a live garden oasis that would engage all of a visitor’s senses, and reference public and private spaces as well as conservatories and floral arrangements. Our design team created a series of concept boards that demonstrated innovative creativity with respect of the non-profit’s budget constraints, and intentions to compliment and not compete with the master works.


The first stage of installation occurs months before the exhibit opens with the arrival of regal 8’ Kentia palms. The variety selection and specifications were determined from collaboration with the client’s horticulturist, in order to ensure proper acclimation and new growth at the exhibit opening. 


Installation of phase two is scheduled in two parts in order to ensure that the curators have adequate time to analyze the elements and make any changes necessary prior to opening. All trucks, plants and materials must pass rigid inspections to protect the priceless collections throughout the MET – again respecting the world-renowned museum’s team of historian and scientists.


The curators’ detailed analysis and planning in coordination with our teams’ resources and passion deliver the unexpected oasis of green on opening night that is also a passport to the past. The rigid requirement’s for documentation of specific pest control practices as well as adherence to the museum’s highly specialized protocol for delivery and installation methods required a highly effective and experienced vendor familiar with their needs.


Exhibit components include Victorian era garden antiques and impressionist paintings of 19th century French gardens that the conservatory installation amplifies with an interactive garden element.


The garden is embraced by people immediately upon installation, encouraging unintended exploration of the exhibit for museum visitors. For everyone attending the exhibit, it delivers a garden sanctuary to pause and ponder the influence of 19th century French gardens on the impressionists, as well as their eternal contributions to garden design.




2018 Cultivate Award

John Mini Distinctive Landscapes is proud to receive recognition from AmericanHort on this project. Passport to Paris was honored with an award as part of the Cultivate 2018 program


Mark M.

Jack M.

Andrew E.

Andrew E.

Benny A.

Alexxa V.

Mark M.

Matt S.

The resulting interpretation of a 19th century French Conservatory delivers an inviting garden sanctuary that entices one’s senses in anticipation of the exhibit. The paintings remain the star of the show, while the plants amplify the impact.

Mark M.

Jack M.