Late in the 19th century, the noted glassmaker Leopold Blaschka, and his son Rudolf, made thousands of intricate, beautiful glass models of unusual plants and undersea creatures. It was an age of exploration, and museums were hungry for displays of the odd botanical and nautical specimens. The Blaschka's filled this need for over 50 years, and their masterworks live on, thrilling museum visitors all over the world.
Touted as "an artistic marvel in the field of science and a scientific marvel in the field of art," the pieces are incredibly detailed and lifelike. Indelibly catching in 3-dimensions the work of fine illustrators, the glass works are both delicate and substantial. The Harvard Botanical Museum contracted exclusively with the father-and-son team over the later years of their production, or we'd have even more variety of sea creatures essence transferred to glass.
The Design Museum has a touring exhibition of these 'glass jellyfish', and you may also find some in a museum near you, if you look hard enough. Glass art is all about form and color, and these pieces, modeling natures finery, are gorgeous.
Jellyfish on Whidbey Island.