New art prints from the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Three new prints being added to the collection today have an interesting history, having made their way to the Harvard Museum of Natural History by a circuitous route. The artist, Rosalba M. Towne, painted the flowers and plants from the work of Shakespeare when she was a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, basing her work on the treatise “The Plant-Lore and Garden Craft of Shakespeare” by Rev. Henry N. Ellacombe.  She offered the paintings to the Shakespeare Museum in Stratford-Upon-Avon, but received no reply in her lifetime, and died in 1909.

Her manuscript made its way to a bookshop in Paris, where a professor of botany at Harvard acquired it, and later donated it to the Botanical Museum at Harvard. In 1974, the manuscript was reproduced as a book, but until recently, the unbound plates sat in the attic. Now, they are for sale to visitors to the museum – which, incidentally, is free to Massachusetts residents before noon on Sundays. Go visit and pick up a print yourself, or borrow one from the library!


Jenny Arch is the Circulating Art Prints Coordinator for the Robbins Library.

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2 Responses to New art prints from the Harvard Museum of Natural History

  1. Linda Dyndiuk, Head of Adult Services says:

    I love these new prints!

  2. Pingback: Which art prints are we talking about? Not the ones you might expect. | Robbins Library Blog

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