About Ikebana of Richmond

Ikebana of Richmond logoThe Japanese characters forming the word ‘ike-bana’ can be best translated as ‘living flowers.’ However, ikebana has become generally accepted as meaning the art form of Japanese flower arrangement.

Ikebana of Richmond, Virginia is a cultural, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to stimulate, cultivate, and perpetuate the study of Ikebana, related arts, and Japanese culture. It was organized in 1967 and is currently comprised of over 130 members. Our motto is “Friendship through Flowers,” and our emblem is the Bamboo Spray. The Ikebana schools that are represented in Ikebana of Richmond include Ichiyo, Ikenobo, Ohara, Sangetsu and Sogetsu. See examples of each school on Ikebana’s website.

If you are interested in becoming a new member, please visit Ikebana’s website to download the new member form.


Ikebana of Richmond meets the first Thursday of the month from September through May from 10 am – 12:30 pm in the Kelly Education Center at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

For any inquiries about the work of the Ikebana of Richmond or for more information on upcoming meetings, please contact Evelyn Klumb, President, [email protected].

History of Ikebana of Richmond

Group of people surrounding an Ikebana floral arrangmentIn 1956, Ellen Gordon Allen, founder of Ikebana International, visited Richmond and taught a series of lessons in Japanese flower arranging. Participants in the classes saw the potential of a local Ikebana International chapter as a cultural asset to the community, and they formed the nucleus of founding members.

In July 1967, the Richmond Times Dispatch published an article about Mrs. Francis Henggler, who had studied in the Sogetsu, Ikenobo, and Ichiyo schools. Mrs. Robert Mobley, one of the founding members, recognized that the time was right for the formation of a chapter. A telephone call to Mrs. Henggler from Mrs. Mobley, asking if she would be interested in helping organize a chapter of Ikebana International in Richmond, was received with an enthusiastic response.

In February 1968, an organizational meeting was held to develop a constitution and bylaws which were sent to Tokyo. In April, a meeting was held to elect officers who were installed on May 15, 1968. During the first year of the chapter, 35 new members were added to the rolls.

In 1986, the club was reorganized as Ikebana of Richmond with the primary goal of teaching Japanese flower arranging and other Japanese cultural activities.  The club has a full and rich history with a wonderful and diverse membership.