Visiting the Harvard Museum of Natural History

If you’re visiting Cambridge, Massachusetts, your trip is incomplete without stepping onto Harvard’s campus, which feels like taking a trip back in time. If you’re looking for a great way to spend an afternoon, or even a full day, go to Harvard’s Museum of Natural History.

The crown jewel of this museum is the Ware Collection of Blaschka’s Glass Models of Plants, otherwise known as the “Glass Flowers.” The flowers were commissioned by ladies of Boston society in the late 1800s as a gift to Harvard’s botany department, and created by a German father and son team, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, whose family’s lineage included glassmakers and jewelers dating back to the fifteenth century. These replicas, including enlargements of flower and plant details, are so incredibly life-like, the artistry of the Blaschkas is stunning.

Other museum highlights include:

  • A saber-toothed cat!

  • Gallery of rare minerals and meteorites

  • An observation beehive

  • Displays of 500 current day mammals, including whales!

  • Sea creatures in glass (also created by the Blaschkas)

  • Prehistoric fossils, including a velociraptor

Saber-toothed cat

Saber-toothed cat

Glass flowers

Glass flowers

Glass flowers

Glass flowers

Glass flowers

Glass flowers

Glass larva

Glass larva

Glassmaking supplies

Glassmaking supplies

Minerals on display

Minerals on display

Cotton candy minerals

Cotton candy minerals

My favorite mineral

My favorite mineral

Cases upon cases of minerals

Cases upon cases of minerals

Many more minerals

Many more minerals

Bugs!

Bugs!

Beautifully displayed butterflies

Beautifully displayed butterflies

A fabulous collection of birds

A fabulous collection of birds

Whales above

Whales above

The sweetest dormice

The sweetest dormice

A serious serval

A serious serval

A teeny-tiny glass squid, about the size of my pinky!

A teeny-tiny glass squid, about the size of my pinky!

Velociraptor

Velociraptor

  1. Katelyn Ackerman says:

    Super cool! Those glass flowers are phenomenal!

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