Blaschka glass models


Published: 27Feb2010

The Redpath Museum at McGill University holds a valuable suite of scientifically accurate and striking glass sculptures. Acquired around 1878, this collection of 31 glass models was made by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka at their studio in Hosterwitz, Germany, near Dresden. The Redpath Museum collection was probably acquired in two separate sets. Twenty-four models were likely made in the period 1878-1890. A set of six sea anemones were probably created before 1877 and, along with the remains of a tubeworm model, could possibly be the oldest known Blaschka models in North America. These models were purchased from Ward's Scientific, congruent with other natural history display material such as a giant plaster ground sloth (Megatherium) for the opening of the museum in 1882. Augustus Ward in Rochester, New York, was the only supplier of biological teaching and research material at this time. He was the Blaschka's agent for North America. The Redpath Museum models have been held in storage for decades. Prior to this exhibit they were sporadically used in teaching demonstrations at the university and have suffered severe damage that cannot be adequately repaired. There are residues of 20th Century paint and adhesives on all the models. In 2001 the models were examined by Dr. Henri Reiling, a world authority on these unique glass sculptures, and presented at the First International Congress on Blaschka Glass held at Trinity College, Dublin, in 2008.

Contact Information

Ingrid Birker
Science Outreach Coordinator
ingrid.birker [at]
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