Field Museum Dioramas
February 19, 2010
I went in for my regular volunteer shift at the Field Museum yesterday. I spent my lunch wandering around the Hall of Plants. It's become one of my favorite parts of the public collections. I adore the old models and dioramas. There is a charming, old world quality to them, but their beautiful attention to detail is timeless. I took a photo of a liverwort display, a backlit model of some algae, a fungus display. The models' original purpose was to aid in a scientific understanding of the plants, but to me they are also beautiful and strange objets d'art. Is it an algae specimen or abstract watercolor painting? Meera, another bird division volunteer, was talking about the extraordinary glass flower specimens at Harvard. The flowers were created with remarkable detail by Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka in the late 1800s. They were father and son jewelry makers that lived near Dresden, and they made over 4000 specimens for the Harvard collections. More information can be found here.