Thursday, October 29, 2009

Exquisite Glass Flowers

I realize that I have been remiss in stories about our trip to Boston. However, today I will begin to make amends. One of our first field trips in Boston was to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. A couple of it's gems include a wonderful room of minerals from around the world and some impressive fossils. But it was the room of glass flowers that absolutely stole my heart.

The exhibit of glass flowers was the brainchild of Dr George Lincoln Goodale of Harvard in the late 1800s. He had seen the glass models of invertebrates such as jellyfish made by Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolf Blaska, from Dresden, Germany. It took Dr. Goodale some effort to convince the father and son team to create exact replicas of flowers and their parts that would be able to accurately teach students and be used by researchers. However, he finally succeeded and the room of glass flowers is the result.
Yes, that's me and the girls--can't pass up a good opportunity to excite curiousity! Thankfully they never seem to get annoyed with me about that. They really seem to have a general thirst for knowledge.

I know these pictures really don't show it, but the detail and exquisiteness of these flowers was astounding--simply amazing. Apparently, creating these flowers for Harvard became the Blaschkas' life work. Everything about the flowers is perfect! Color. Texture. Sheen. They are simple remarkable. No paint or other coatings, there are completely glass. And the Blaschka's also made glass models of aspects of the flowers as if they were magnified.
I know, I'm raspsodizing. But, I found them just stunninging amazing. Case upon case upon case of glass stems, flowers, pistals, pollen, ovaries, roots, etc. in excrutiating detail. I just couldn't imagine the talent and effort it required to complete this amazing feat. Each one was a work of art.

I have two more posts that I'd like to share with you about places we visited in Boston and then I'll get back to my bear-making life.


  1. Oh Cheryl, I've seen those glass flowers and they're unbelievable. There are a few more of them in the Corning glass museum, but nothing like the collection at the Peabody in Harvard. I'm so glad you got to see them.

  2. I would love to see these, some day...

  3. Thanks for the post. I have the privilege of seeing the Glass Flowers almost every day, and am still amazed. The Harvard Museum of Natural History displays over 3,000 Blaschka glass models of flowering plants (as well as a 19 Blaschka glass models of Harvard's marine invertebrates--but those only until early December 2009). The loan exhibition of 17 models to the Corning Museum of Glass closed in 2008, so the Harvard Museum of Natural History is the only place to see them. To Sharon K. The Glass Flowers are NOT displayed at the adjacent Peabody Museum of Archaeology. See, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge --6-7 minutes walk from the Red Line T in Harvard Square.

  4. Amazing flowers, they look so real. It's been fun to read about your floating holiday :) I hope the rooms have stopped swaying now! Happy Halloween, Hugs, Catherine x


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