Picture Sundays: Harvard’s Glass Flower Collection


Photo ©President & Fellows Harvard College, photo of Blaschka Glass Model by Hillel Burger.

This cactus is made out of glass. Root Simple reader tworose tipped me off to the Harvard Museum of Natural History’s collection of glass flowers. According to the museum’s website:

This unique collection of over 3,000 models was created by glass artisans Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolph. The commission began in 1886, continued for five decades, and the collection represents more than 830 plant species.

Reminds me of the 3D flower x-rays on display at the Museum of Jurassic Technology. They have to be seen in person to really do them justice, but you can see a selection in 2D here.

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  1. Also a subject of Christoper Williams 1989 artwork “Angola to Vietnam” – “By choosing to photograph glass flower models from countries where political disappearances were recorded in 1985, Williams reclassifies them by country of origin rather than by the museum’s system. Over the institution’s botanical classification, based on science, the artist proposes another, based on politics, underlining the biased nature of any classification system.” http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/1999/muse/artist_pages/williams_vietnam.html

  2. Thanks for posting about the amazingly realistic Blaschka Glass Flowers on display at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Photo credit of the glass model of echinocerus should be Photo (c) President & Fellows Harvard College, photo of Blaschka Glass Model by Hillel Burger. Your link to 2D images is not of the Blaschka Glass Flowers. You can see more, and a video, here:

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