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Harvard Magazine | Connecting Harvard, PAFA and Shakespeare

The Paintings Found Behind a Shelf of Books in the Harvard Botanical Museum

Edward Tabor shares the discovery of hidden illustrated books in Harvard's Botanical Museum and how it connects to Shakespear and a PAFA student from the 1970's.    "These paintings illustrated all of the plants mentioned by Shakespeare, and they showed how extensive Shakespeare’s knowledge of botany was." 

"Schultes invited me to the publication party for the book in 1974 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where Rosa Towne had once enrolled as an adult student.  At the publication party I saw the published book for the first time. It was a large leather-bound folio edition, 15 inches long, a format that is unusual in modern times, even for art books."

Image: Holly. 
As You Like It, Act II, sc. 7. 
Artwork by Rosa M. Towne and photograph by Edward Tabor 

Last Updated
October 8, 2021 - 9:32 AM

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.