Glass spotto: Blaschka biz…

6 03 2013

A little treat from Nige…

 

jellyfish

 

A glass jellyfish, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, MA, US

Among the 21million specimens that will rarely, if ever, be displayed at the Museum of Comparative Zoology are the 430 glass models of beautiful marine creatures made between 1886 and 1936 by the father-and-son glass artists Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. When the curator and I walked through the room in which they live, hundreds of tiny tentacles and spines shivered in time with our steps. If they were in a public area of the museum, the human traffic would be too much and they might break apart.

The Blaschkas made thousands of glass creatures. George Goodale, the first director of Harvard’s Botanical Museum, hired them on an exclusive contract to make more than 4,000 models of plants, 3,200 of which are on display (being more robust than the marine creatures) and are the most popular exhibits in the museum. When 25 were taken to New York City for an exhibition, they were driven in a hearse, as this was the smoothest ride the curators could find for them.

Adorable. Takes us back to Glass History in first year – the Blaschkas understandably loomed large.

They always come to mind whenever we see glass peeps trotting out jellyfish (invariably beyond inferior.) Dear oh dear, why do it? It’s only luminaries like Timmy Horn who can pull it off (latex or not) and he made his own respectful pilgrimage to the Blaschka Collection and both references and pays them serious homage.

Think twice, that’s our advice.

 

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