Selections from the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection
- Lifelike and delectable watercolours of fruit — in a book about as tall as a pear
Between 1886 and 1942, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pomology Division — pomology being the study of fruit growing — commissioned an illustrated register of fruits. These watercolour illustrations were invaluable to growers, who used them as records of prized varieties that were in danger of being stolen or counterfeited by competitors. The illustrations realistically portrayed fruit in all conditions, showing not only immaculate pomegranates fit to eat off of the page but bruised bananas as well. These watercolours, most of which were painted by women, chronicle an agricultural landscape at the turn of the twentieth century and provide a visual time capsule of many fruit varieties now lost.
This book highlights 250 vibrant, mouthwatering watercolours from the Pomological Watercolor Collection, showing fruit from all 50 states and around the world, from apples and oranges to gooseberries and plums. As small as an apple or avocado you would hold in your hand, this miniature book will entice both gourmets and art lovers.