Glass Flowers at the Harvard Museum of Natural History

DSCN1780The glass flowers at the Harvard Museum of Natural History are known for being realistic. If you go to the glass exhibit your reaction will probably be like mine: “These can’t be real.” Not only does the exhibit have life-like flowers, but it also has slices of the stems, the fruits, the roots, stamens, side views of a flower, and some of the flowers have insects inside them!

The plants themselves are amazing, even without all the extra glass models. I couldn’t fully comprehend that they weren’t actual plan ts. They seem so lifelike. Most of the models don’t have roots, but when they do they look like they were pulled fresh out of dirt, all the roots stringy and textured in just the right way. The different stems are unique, awe-inspiring shades of green and brown. The leaves are just as well-crafted. The specimens caused this star-struck effect on me because the video said that these pieces were made over a century ago. If you just think about making glass flowers that look identical to real ones, it seems so impossible.  One of the best examples is the  glass maple leaves are simply beautiful. They look like something you would see in fall with the varying shades of orange. The colors look as if the glass makers  took all the shades in autumn off of  leaves and put them into their glass pieces.

The flowers are the best part. They come in different sizes and colors, but they all have a delicate air to them as if you could pluck the petals without effort. The best flowers, in my opinion, are the ones showing different types of pollination. These flowers don’t have labels, but some are magnified to show bees, butterflies, and flies in the process of pollination. The bees are my favorites because the amount of detail in them is simply extraordinary. If you look closely, you can see all the individual hairs sticking up on their bodies. When looking at the specimens in the exhibit you forget that they are glass and that makes this experience even more amazing. The time and dedication involved in making all the glass pieces is extraordinary.

Overall, this exhibit is the most amazing glass I’ve ever seen. The time a guy and his son used to make all these life-like pieces shows their determination and dedication.  It’s so hard to comprehend, but they did it.  People still come to see their amazing work. This  exhibit brings two of my favorite things, art and science, together to make a special experience. What makes it even more special is that, as the introductory video said, no one has been able to replicate these masterpieces! I hope I can return to the museum in the future to relive the awe-struck feeling.

%d bloggers like this: