THIS is an extremely interesting entry by Arden Sherman, a curator/writer focusing on the history of exhibition documentation photography.
Among other things, he talks about how, until as late as the 1980s, museums regularly incorporated potted plants into their gallery spaces:
“The infamous “white cube,” first articulated in the early years of MoMA, would regularly incorporate a plant (or three) into its cool geometry during its first few decades. Modern art museums only began to exile greenery in the late 1960s; by the mid-1980s it was as if they’d never been there.
Perhaps paradoxically, in the very moment of plants’ eviction, artists began to incorporate living matter into their work.”
Be sure also to check out Sherman’s blog MISE EN GREEN, which is probably my single favorite website at the moment.