Do you have a few hours free during your stay in Boston and are you wondering what to do? The Harvard University in Cambridge, in the Boston urban area in Massachusetts, is a very beautiful place where to get lost, walk and observe.
Harvard Museum of Natural History
After have walked among the avenues and the courtyards, maybe after have tasted a very good street food at the food trucks or have tasted the best hamburger of the whole United States in Harvard Square at Mr Bartley’s (where you can also laugh a bit reading the menu) my tip is not to miss the Harvard Museum of National History.
Harvard Vs MIT
The Harvard Museum of Natural History is in the campus of the most ancient University in the United States: it continuously contends with MIT prestige, titles and credits.
The museums are no less, too. I had already talked to you about the museum of MIT and about the robotics inside. On the contrary here we go and explore a completely different but as charming museum.
Let’s begin saying one entrance allows the access to even 4 museums.
Glass flowers at Harvard
The glass flowers exhibition has just reopened the doors after an important restoration of spaces and lighting.
It’s something you won’t see in any other part in the world. It’s one of the most famous treasures this museum boasts with honor.
Over 4.000 models representing all sorts of flowers and plants are entirely glasswork and the effect is beyond description.
Above all because at the entrance you’ll be a bit puzzled: you won’t realize immediately where and how are these flowers. At least it made this impression on me.
The reproductions will look like beautiful but not exceptional because you’ll think about plastic art reproduction – well made but like many others.
Yeah, you got it right. You don’t realize they are glasswork. They seem so realistic that you think it’s impossible they are glasswork!
The collection was created by two glass artists, father and son, who came from Dresden: for over 50 years they have been keeping realizing these flowers and plants, according to the instructions of the Harvard botanic professors (who used it for their lessons) through a wonderful technique unfortunately lost since it wasn’t handed down to anyone.
They are realistic representations of nature and the vegetal world commissioned to teach botanic.
All models are life-size with an incredible richness in details and with extraordinarily cared sections. It’s a combination of incomparable artistic beauty and scientific rigor.
Do you understand why I said that the Harvard Museum of Natural History is incredible? After visited it during my stay in Boston some months ago, I wanted absolutely that Leonardo could see it, too. So here we are together!
This area deserves a tour and a lot of time dedicated to admire the essential skill for the realization of these flowers.
It seems the craftsmen of Murano weren’t able to equal these techniques and today, too, despite some of them tried, this ancient art is unique and people cannot reach the same results.
Anyway, the Harvard Museum of natural history isn’t only here. We continue our tour.
Animals, fossils and 5 continents
Also some reproductions of the sea life world were realized by glass.
Creatures that seem taking life at the passage of light. Terrestrial and sea animals, famous for they beauty and care of details, are there to be admired.
You think the sea gallery is an exhibition recreating, from the floor to the ceiling, the sea life of New England: giant turtles, fishes, crustaceans, mullusks and much more.
Then we run into the bees world and we could measure ourselves in the search of the queen bee inside the beehive.
There are many areas and exhibition areas and the museum is very big: from the African section (where the big animals of Africa fauna were collected over a century ago) to birds coming from all over the world.
The Asian area keeps inside animals like rhino and the tiger. The Central and the South America are represented by tapirs and giant armadillos.
Then the room of the big mammals is charming. The Harvard Museum of Natural History is also evolutionary history of vertebrates, dinosaurs, triceratops…
Or wonderful fishes very well kept next to dinosaurs and first mammals. The Cainozoic and Mesozoic with their fossils surprise and bewitch.
The gallery of land re-proposes thousands of rare minerals and gems.
Some huge, other ones colored, all charming. You think there’s even an area dedicated to meteorites.
The Harvard Museum of Natural History allows to admire the history of the evolution, too: fossils, animals, plants…Darwin with his theories.
What about the particular evolution proper of the islands in their isolation (sorry for the play upon words), first among equals the Galapagos? I’ll have to be taken sooner or later and discover from life these wonders! What about you, Leonardo. Do you want to come with me?
Our wonderful planet
The expositions offer a wide view of the dynamic processes and the events which formed our planet and that shaped its non-stop evolution.
Do you prefer the New England forest, reproduced in a multimedia exhibition with wild animals, lichens, ponds and it, the beautiful giant elk that sooner or later I must see live?
Isn’t it even enough? The Harvard Museum of Natural History will still surprise you. Go into the area dedicated to the study of the climate changes.
Or go into the Peabody Museum with the same ticket, for a journey among history, archaeology and ethnology.
Everything discovering the Latin America native cultures, before and after 1492 and the Columbus arrival. Here you explore and meet the civilizations.
Keep in mind that the Harvard Museum of National History has free access in some days. Interesting, isn’t it? The low cost can be always just behind the corner! Look all the details up in the website.
Inside the museum many activities take place: guided tours of the several areas, courses for adults, programs and labs for children.