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the gibbes museum of art
Glass model of Caesalpinia pulcherrima by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, 1895. The Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, Harvard University Herbaria / Harvard Museum of Natural History © President and Fellows of Harvard College

Harvard Glass Flowers

April 25, 2024 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Lecture Hall


Inspired by the exhibition Rory McEwen, which features the artist’s extraordinary large-scale botanical paintings, the Gibbes welcomes Jennifer Brown, the collection manager of Harvard’s iconic Glass Flowers Collection. While we are unable to enjoy the renowned Harvard collection in person, through photographs of glass flowers and conversation about this special collection we will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of McEwen's works and the legacy of botanical art in general. 

One of Harvard University’s most famous treasures is the internationally acclaimed Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, better known as the Glass Flowers. This one-of-a-kind collection has delighted museum visitors, educated students, and inspired artistic and scholarly works for more than a century. On permanent exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Glass Flowers were created by Leopold Blaschka (1822-1895) and his son, Rudolf (1857-1939). Over fifty years, from 1886 to 1936, the Blaschkas produced 4,300 astonishingly realistic glass models that represent 780 plant species. The Glass Flowers were commissioned by Harvard University as a teaching collection and a museum exhibit, and they have been on display in the same gallery since 1890. Although changes and improvements were made over time, the most extensive renovation of the Glass Flowers exhibit occurred in 2016. Collection Manager Jennifer Brown will share the history of this unique collection through photographs and discuss the exhibit renovation.

$20 Members | $30 Non-Members
*3% credit card fee will apply

About Jennifer Brown
Jennifer Brown became the Collection Manager for the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants (the Glass Flowers) at Harvard University in 2012. She has worked on many exciting projects since then, which include co-authoring Glass Flowers: Marvels of Art and Science at Harvard, completing the most extensive exhibit renovation in the collection’s history, and co-curating special exhibitions within the Glass Flowers gallery. Jenny has a BFA in interrelated media from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a master’s degree in library and information science from the Pratt Institute. Before going to graduate school and working with the Glass Flowers, Jenny was a studio assistant for renowned glass artist, Toots Zynsky.