11 October 2009

THE ARTS: Terrarium as art form

If you saw the terrarium I designed by request as part of "Cabinet of Curiousity" at Museum of Outdoor Arts, you might have logged on looking for instructions about how to create a terrarium.
Please click on this link to go to my Examiner.com page. Scroll down or search "terrarium" to find an entry titled "Terrarium as art form." You'll see a photo similar to this one. That post includes more details and links.

Photo by James Baca

If you're in the Denver area, don't miss the whimsical wonders at Cabinet of Curiousities" now showing at Museum of Outdoor Arts. This is art for everybody. Make a point to stop by the museum's indoor galleries housed in Englewood Civic Center. Your inner child will thank you, and so will the part of you that secrets away little items of nostalgic, nature or sentiment. MOA opens its doors free of charge.

"Support the arts,
and the arts will support you."

I'll conduct some more research on terrariums and will try to find more links.
Once I get the photos of the little terrarium from the exhibition's fun opening last night, I'll post them here, too. Meanwhile, for the exhibit, here's the label copy I wrote:

The roots of the terrarium

As early as 500 B.C., ancient Greeks grew and displayed plants in closed, transparent containers; but terrariums have their true roots in London. In 1827, London physician Dr. Nathaniel Ward discovered the scientific principle of terrariums.

Studying a moth emerging from a cocoon in moist soil, Dr. Ward noticed tiny ferns and grass growing in the earth contained in the jar. These plants, to the good doctor’s surprise, grew for years inside the jar without watering because the mini-greenhouse formed a miniature, self-sustained ecosystem complete with a water cycle.

Also known as Wardian Cases, terrariums allowed botanists to transport tropical plants safely from one continent to another, aiding the development of botany.

Ornately decorated terrariums grew in popularity as household decorations in Victorian times in the United States.

Today, all you need is a clear glass or plastic container to build your own terrarium, creating your own miniature ecosystem.


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