Harvard University

Blaschka Sea Creatures in Glass at the Harvard Museum of Natural History



Many years before they were commissioned by Harvard University to make the Glass Flowers, father and son artists Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka meticulously shaped glass into lifelike models of marine and terrestrial animals. Renowned for their beauty and exacting detail, the Blaschka invertebrate models were commissioned by universities and museums throughout world during the nineteenth century.

The exhibit, at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, is the culmination of the Museum of Comparative Zoology’s near completion of an eight-year project to curate, clean, and repair all of its 430 invertebrate models. Together with Harvard’s Ware Collection of Glass Models of Plants, with over 3,200 specimens on display, these restored glass animals now comprise the largest Blaschka collection on display in the world.