For those willing to make the walk to the Harvard Museum of Natural History (it’s right on the way to Design Survivor!) the most stunning exhibit there is Glass Flowers. Modeled in the late 1800s and early 1900s by father-son duo Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, these glass figures were meticulously made by melting and shaping glass.
Harvard Botany Professor George Lincoln Goodale commissioned over 4000 of these glass plants to use for instructional purposes in his botany classes. The advantage to these glass flowers is that they never died and were able to be used year round, even when the weather in Cambridge was not conducive to plant growth. The flowers and plants are stunningly lifelike—to the point that it is difficult to tell that they are glass and not real when looking at them in a case in the museum. I think that the flowers are absolutely unbelievable, but some people I know are underwhelmed by them because they are so realistic it is tough to tell that they are actually glass.