Flowers


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.

21 - 40 of 92 Objects
37-23-4A
NA5389
37-23-5
32667
Cuff
37-23-4A
View Object | 12870
Leggings
NA5389
View Object | 87350
Collar
37-23-5
View Object | 19705
Textile Fragment
32667
View Object | 42688

45-15-271
45-15-1169
37-11-185
Object On Display
B16399
Mantle
45-15-271
View Object | 113608
Whip
45-15-1169
View Object | 15359
Incense Burner
37-11-185
View Object | 14091
Bowl
B16399
View Object | 67422

31-43-363
B17072C
Object On Display
31-17-74
B17066
Object On Display
Amulet
31-43-363
View Object | 92124
Tumbler
B17072C
View Object | 86605
Ornament
31-17-74
View Object | 9314
Relief
B17066
View Object | 9199

29-93-46
Object On Display
51-6-244
2001-15-41
2001-16-20A
Tile
29-93-46
View Object | 86377
Bowl
51-6-244
View Object | 3938
Tile
2001-15-41
View Object | 110852
Box
2001-16-20A
View Object | 112360

B8905
B16693
Object On Display
B16694
Object On Display
B15795
Mortuary Statue
B8905
View Object | 76846
Comb (Hair - grooming tool)
B16693
View Object | 71509
String of Beads
B16694
View Object | 9226
Wall Flower
B15795
View Object | 9056

21 - 40 of 92 Objects

Select objects to add to My Finds list using



Clear List Next - View List
My Finds