University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

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.


1 - 30 of 80 Records

Shoulder Pouch

45-15-807

45-15-807

Museum Object

Tray

97-84-176

97-84-176

Museum Object

Tray

NA8779

NA8779

Museum Object



Leggings

NA5389

NA5389

Museum Object

Collar

37-23-5

37-23-5

Museum Object

Mantle

45-15-271

45-15-271

Museum Object



Pouch

NA8380A

NA8380A

Museum Object

Votive Bowl

38-23-122

38-23-122

Museum Object

Votive Bowl

38-23-123

38-23-123

Museum Object



Pouch

41-24-18

41-24-18

Museum Object

Pincushion

30-1-17

30-1-17

Museum Object

Pad Saddle

81-28-1

81-28-1

Museum Object

This object is on display


Tray

37-3-1

37-3-1

Museum Object

Mandarin Square

52-23-74

52-23-74

Museum Object

Informal Robe

43-12-123

43-12-123

Museum Object



Wall Hanging

84-6-1

84-6-1

Museum Object

Platter

89-13-148

89-13-148

Museum Object

Wine Cup

88-10-59A

88-10-59A

Museum Object



Plate

5827

5827

Museum Object

Shadow Puppet

33-54-66

33-54-66

Museum Object

Scroll Painting

CG94-1-99

CG94-1-99

Museum Object



Plate

7532

7532

Museum Object

Mandarin Square

52-23-4

52-23-4

Museum Object

Plate

66-29-1

66-29-1

Museum Object



Informal Robe

43-12-161

43-12-161

Museum Object

Ornament

35-10-306

35-10-306

Museum Object

This object is on display

Wall Tile

NEP43

NEP43

Museum Object



Wall Flower

B15795

B15795

Museum Object

This object is on display

Bandolier Bag

2002-9-2

2002-9-2

Museum Object

Kimono

2007-15-1

2007-15-1

Museum Object



1 - 30 of 80 Records
Record Type:  
Has Image:  
On Display:  
Site:  
Inscription Language:  
Bibliographic Reference Kind:  

© Penn Museum 2018 Sitemap | Contact | Copyright | Disclaimer | Privacy |