Curator's Choice: Seaweed, or Flowers of the Ocean
with Christina Michelon
Usher in the start of summer by joining Assistant Curator Dr. Christina Michelon to learn about the nineteenth-century phenomenon of creating seaweed specimen albums. A popular pastime in New England and beyond, aspiring naturalists collected these “flowers of the ocean” and carefully arranged them in albums in both artistic and taxonomical ways. This activity occurred alongside advances in printing that facilitated seeing and learning about seaweed without even heading to the shore.
Feast your eyes on these incredible aquatic plants that nourish both humans and animals, support ecosystems, and help slow climate change. You’ll even learn about how to preserve seaweed specimens yourself!
Christina Michelon, PhD is Assistant Curator of Special Collections at the Boston Athenæum. She specializes in nineteenth-century American visual and material culture and received her PhD in Art History from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the Athenaeum, she completed a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. Her research has also been supported by the Smithsonian Institution, Henry Luce Foundation and American Council of Learned Societies, the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design, the Chipstone Foundation, and the Library Company of Philadelphia.