Victorian Natural History and Blaschka Glass
Blaschka glass models have a special place in the history of art and natural science.
Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka were gifted “glass-shapers" producing 700 different types of models of marine invertebrate animals, such as anenomes and jellyfish. They worked with leading European scientists between 1870 and 1890. The synthesis of art and science resulted in extraordinarily fine models that were greatly admired then and now.
Demand for these models reflected other developments in natural history during the Victorian era, particularly the rise of evolutionary theory. In line with Sir Julius von Haast's ambitions to bring the best European science to Canterbury, the Museum holds the largest collection of Blaschka models in the Southern Hemisphere.
Matt Shaw, Canterbury Museum Associate Curator Natural History is an invertebrate zoologist with a special interest in very small creatures (mites). He has worked at the Museum for four years and was previously at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane.
A Canterbury Museum Friends presentation.
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List image: 1884.137.15