In Search of Thoreau’s Flowers: An Exploration of Change and Loss (Special Exhibition)

Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022 from 9:00am to 5:00pm

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In Search of Thoreau’s Flowers is a multisensory experience that marries art and science through a modern interpretation of Henry David Thoreau’s preserved plants. Thoreau was prolific in his practice of collecting botanical samples and plants are important indicators of how our world is responding to climate change. Long preserved in the Harvard University Herbaria, 648 specimens serve as the foundation of this new exhibition. The digitization of these specimens inspired the creation of beautiful blue cyanotypes that are in direct conversation with illuminated rotating selections of Thoreau’s originals and immersive large-scale projected visualizations. The exhibition invites visitors to experience emotionally resonant connections to the profound loss of natural diversity caused by human-induced climate change. The exhibition urges us to ask, “what do Thoreau’s findings tell us about what plants are winning, and what plants are losing, in the face of climate change today?”


Regular museum admission rates apply (Adults: $15.00, Seniors (65+): $13.00, Harvard ID Holders: Free, Non-Harvard students with I.D.: $10.00, Youth ages 3–18: $10.00, Youth under 3: Free, Members: Free).


Artwork by Leah Sobsey for “In Search of Thoreau’s Flowers: An Exploration of Change and Loss” exhibition, Harvard Museum of Natural History, Digitized cyanotype

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