There is one amazing must-see when you visit the knowledge cluster of Cambridge and Boston. The glass flowers of the Harvard Natural History Museum.
Since my studies i can’t forget this one highly intricate model of a jellyfish which was placed in one cabinet on the hallway at the zoology department. The text mentioned Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, father and son, which were highly skilled glass blowers originating from Bohemia and had established a manufacture for biological glass models in Dresden, Germany.
Back in 1887 they were commissioned to produce a collection of glass flowers for the then growing Botanical Museum at Harvard. Between 1887 and 1937 Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka produced an epic oeuvre for the museum's collection: 850 life-size models of plants, representing about 780 species and varieties from 164 plant families. Additionally the museum owns about 4300 (!!!) enlarged models of radial cuts, plant details and flowers.
The glass flowers are amazing in their fragile elaborateness. Solidago canadensis (see far below), for example, just looks like picked from the field. The colors of the plants are based on natural (thus fading) pigments and are strongly accurate.
This craftsmanship is a testimony of a unique ability to observe plant life paired with genius skills in glass blowing and for sure endless patience and obsession for the handcraft.
Excuse myself for the low quality of the picture material. The light in the room is very dim and my camera good but not optimal as you can see. For really amazing pictures I bought the book 'The Glass Flowers at Harvard' (crazy price on amazon vs. 20 bucks in the museum ;) as a present to bring back home.
Scroll through impressions from the exhibition (I spared you from comments or botanical descriptions). Enlarge for greater awe! This is all glass!