Wednesday, August 4, 2010

a museum for nature's oddities (and beauties)

 "The Tanager genus is a testament to nature’s variety, with 50 colorful species found in North America and Australia." via

So I'm in Boston for about 10 days right now and each day is just packed to the gills. Lots of visiting with friends and family. Lots of talking about the wedding. But a lot of getting sh*t done too like finally getting my wedding dress (task accomplished with much gratitude to Lorelei for finding it on a crowded rack at Vows and for dealing with my hemming and hawing while I tried on 20 additional dresses before returning to the first).

But thank goodness there's also been some time for a little wandering too. For example, I finally made it to the Harvard Museum of Natural History and it was amazing. Owner of the world's largest egg, Vladimir Nabokov’s collection of butterfly genitalia, and the most gorgeous and intricately made collection of glass flowers you've ever seen, this museum is like nature's cabinet of curiosities. So glad I finally got to see it and if you can't make it to Cambridge, do check out the book about the museum, The Rarest of the Rare: Stories Behind the Treasures at the Harvard Museum of Natural History - with images like these - it's a coffee table must.

"As a research fellow at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology between 1942 and 1948, Nabokov specialized in the study of blue butterflies, which he classified by genitalia rather than wing patterns. His collection has been preserved intact, right down to the cigar boxes he used to store specimen vials." via


  1. Vivi - the harvard museum is fabulous. The glass flowers are incredible. I'm actually working on a painting of a large group of bird specimens - my own imaginary flock. Your pictures are reminding me to get back to work :)

  2. This is pretty amazing...thanks for the link...and good luck for all your plans and the big day!



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