Monday, April 23, 2007

Another Field Trip

This flower is not from my garden, and I'm sorry the photo is a bit on the yellow side. Would you believe this beautiful rhododendron is made of glass? It's from the botanical galleries of the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Father and son glass artists Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka made (I think, in the 1850s-1890s) more than 4,400 botanically correct models of plants and their various parts. Not only did they make the glass--using several methods--they came up with just the right kind of paint.

This was only part of my weekend in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My husband was attending a conference on international development at the JFK School. I was museum-ing. We were both visiting my daughter and her boyfriend (who were also attending the conference) who live in Allston, across the river from Cambridge.

I also went to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, the Fogg Museum, and the Sackler Museum. I don't need to say that there was more wonderful art and information than I can possibly mention, or fully absorb. The Fogg and Sackler don't allow photography in the galleries, so the only shot I took is the one above of going upstairs into the courtyard balcony.

After art and cultural anthropology overload, I walked around Cambridge, enjoying the good weather and various activities around Harvard Square including street musicians and shopping. I had hoped to visit the Longfellow House, but it was closed. I found this out after a half-mile walk to get there. This was where George Washington was headquartered 1775-1776. I know this because I just finished reading "1776" by David McCullough. I was disappointed I couldn't go in.

Although I didn't have time to do any fabric shopping, I did go to a shop called The Museum of Useful Things were I found this little treasure, "Witch, the Automatic Needle Threader." I haven't tried it yet (it could be my own little Salem witch trial, get it?), but will be sure to let you know when I do. I then rested my weary feet, which are still weary, outside the Dean's Office at the Kennedy School and did a bit of embroidery on one of the pieces I recently dyed. Not sure the embroidery is improving it yet. I'll let you know that, too.


Rayna said...

Ah - museum overload! What could be better? Museum overload without sore feet, probably. Sounds like a great weekend. Can't wait to hear what the witch thingie does. Todd Gillman went to the Kennedy School - I remember the gradution - Benazir Bhutto spoke. Todd now spends time traipsing aroud the globe with a member of this gov't whose name is mentioned in my blog post of yesterday. For this he needed Harvard???

Linda Branch Dunn said...

So wild to check out your blog and see my home turf. I walk the dog past Longfellow's house most mornings: I like to imagine what kind of studio I could make inside one of those multi-million dollar homes! (I live over the hill, in the less fashionable side of town!)

Rachel said...

Linda, it must be a lovely walk for you! I do think it's time for the Longfellow House to take down their Christmas wreath, though. I also enjoyed seeing Tory Row (or is it Loyalist?) along Brattle Street.