Beauty & Science; the orchid evolves
The cultivation of orchids was once a hobby of the elite. For those who could afford to obtain and maintain them, they were a status symbol. In the early 19th century, as new plants from Europe’s expanding colonial empire arrived at the greenhouses of gentleman-growers, the first illustrations of these exotic imports were printed.
Now open through September 7, 2014
At the Museum in the John and Peggy Maximus Gallery
The new method of copperplate engraving was capable of producing the great detail required by developing botanical science. There was a growing market for books and journals with color plates catering to the new “Orchidmania.”
Our summer exhibit pairs historical illustrations with contemporary orchid science. The electron microscope (SEM) reveals orchid flowers in greater detail than ever before.
Learn about innovations in imaging with Dr. Daniel Geiger, Curator of Malacology at the Museum. Daniel is also a Visiting Research Scholar at the Huntington Botanical Gardens where he is working on the obscure orchid genus Oberonia.