Monday, January 31, 2005


Yesterday John & I went down to Boston to the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. Suffice it to say it was a rock, plant and archaeology geek's playground...

The best parts? Well, there were two best parts....the glass flowers exhibit-- 4,400 glass pieces representing over 800 plant species created by Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (this exhibit is worth the trip alone!). I had no idea ahead of time what this collection was about -- I was expecting just ho-hum modern glass flower art. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. These are incredibly realistic reproductions of plants made specifically for botanical study. We walked in and stood there in stunned amazement: "They're glass?" "They don't look like glass!" "It says they're glass!" "No, they can't be glass!" "But it says they're glass!" et cetera, until the very nice docent interrupted us and assured us that they are all, in fact, glass (mostly painted with enamel). Glass goldenrod, glass mountain laurel, glass rhododendron, lupines, red maple (in fall color), asters, figs, water lilies, hazlenut, willow, delphinium, clematis, pitcher plant, a FANTASTIC Oncidium tigrinum orchid, lady slipper orchids, irises, sedges, and on and on and on. Wow!

The other best part was the Hall of Minerals with over 5,000 mineral specimens. Poor, poor John, (but he tolerates me). "Ooh, come look at this one!" "Oh, John, check this one out!" (I think he was actually pretty amazed, too.) I was struck by how much some of them look like living lichens and molds. I didn't take any pictures, but just as an example, check out these azurite nodules on another rock. Doesn't it look alive?

Also cool were the textiles in the Peabody and a bunch of ancient Central American ceramic spindle whorls with "images of warriors" etched on them...


Blogger Amie said...

Sounds very cool - wish you could've taken some pictures!

Welcome to the Spinning Wheel!

2:46 PM  

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