Combining historic wax models with a series of exquisitely-crafted glass models made by Rudolf Blaschka, this small, special exhibit, located in the Glass Flowers gallery, reveals the astonishing diversity of apples and the surprising beauty of the fungal and bacterial infections that afflict these and other fruits.
Carried to our shores by the earliest European colonists and first planted in Boston in 1625, the apple, Malus pumilla, is a New England dietary icon. One of the oldest fruit trees to be domesticated, this single species now encompasses thousands of distinct varieties worldwide. Not only do these apple varieties differ in look and taste, they also vary greatly in how they respond to pests and disease.
Among Harvard's most famous treasures is the internationally acclaimed Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, the “Glass Flowers." This unique collection of over 4,000 models, representing more than 830 plant species, was created by glass artisans Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, a father and son from Dresden, Germany. The Rotten Apples exhibit opened September 23 and will be on view through September 2018. The glass apples, crafted between 1929 to 1936, were among the last models created by Rudolf Blaschka before his death in 1939.