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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Glass flowers always in bloom at Harvard


 The Ware Collection of Glass Models and Plants in the Harvard Natural History museum/Peabody Museum will blow your mind. Every specimen is made of fused, softened, blown, enameled glass. Between 1886 and 1936 Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka, father and son team, created nearly 4400 models for scientific research in Hosterwitz, Germany. It was an act of love, a delicate calling. Commissioned by a professor of science who was frustrated over the cheap paper mache models currently available, the Ware collection includes over 800 species with accurate anatomical sections and enlarged flower parts. It is hard to imagine how they were packed and shipped from Germany during the war over to the United states. The whole shipment was financed by Elizabeth and Mary lee Ware, wife and daughter of Harvard medical school professor , class of 1834, who passed away in 1888. The collection was given to Harvard in his memory.
Mary lee was an avid botanist.
The glass room at Harvard is always in bloom, and is a great place to visit. I was there in February and the colors, the pollinating (sexy) activities, the details in the room almost made me faint with delight.

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