Flowers


The Penn Museum has many examples of florals in its collection.  In the literal sense, archaeobotanical samples collected at archaeological sites around the globe give us clues about the environments in which past societies lived and how humans interacted with plant life throughout history.  In the figurative sense, depictions of flowers adorn the surfaces of material culture in our collection from all regions of the world, and in some cases, the object itself takes on the form of a flower.  Floral imagery on cultural material reveals the importance that flowering plants have played in our daily lives, including their use as medicinal sources, food sources, natural dyes, pleasant aromas, and for which they are most commonly known: creating romantic gestures. 

While your flowers may not yet be in bloom, take a moment to peek into our garden and you will find that flowers grow everywhere throughout our collections.  From objects that decorate the spaces we inhabit—architecture, pottery, table ware, and wall hangings—to the items we use to decorate our own bodies—clothing, jewelry, bags, and shoes—flowers can be found blooming across painted surfaces, woven into textiles, and molded into bouquets.  They symbolize rebirth and renewal, as well as remind us both of the fragility and beauty of life.  Below is a sampling of floral imagery in our collection; we invite you to view how flowers have colored the lives of people throughout history, and afterward, to take the time to think about how flowers are incorporated into your own life—whether they are for relaxing, healing, smelling, eating, romancing, coloring, decorating, or any other way that we as humans have thought to use them.

61 - 80 of 92 Objects
92-12-3A
37-23-4A
NA5389
37-23-5
Moccasins
92-12-3A
View Object | 20034
Cuff
37-23-4A
View Object | 12870
Leggings
NA5389
View Object | 87350
Collar
37-23-5
View Object | 19705

NA8779
45-15-807
32667
37-11-185
Object On Display
Tray
NA8779
View Object | 89532
Shoulder Pouch
45-15-807
View Object | 15851
Textile Fragment
32667
View Object | 42688
Incense Burner
37-11-185
View Object | 14091

43-12-105
B16399
43-12-94
B17072C
Object On Display
Textile
43-12-105
View Object | 101878
Bowl
B16399
View Object | 67422
Hanging
43-12-94
View Object | 240
Tumbler
B17072C
View Object | 86605

31-17-74
31-43-363
B17066
Object On Display
51-6-244
Ornament
31-17-74
View Object | 9314
Amulet
31-43-363
View Object | 92124
Relief
B17066
View Object | 9199
Bowl
51-6-244
View Object | 3938

29-93-46
Object On Display
2001-15-41
2001-16-20A
B16693
Object On Display
Tile
29-93-46
View Object | 86377
Tile
2001-15-41
View Object | 110852
Box
2001-16-20A
View Object | 112360
Comb (Hair - grooming tool)
B16693
View Object | 71509

61 - 80 of 92 Objects

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