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Harvard Museum of Natural History announces the closing of Ghost Orchids, a glass sculpture installation by Glasgow glass artist Siobhan Healy, on view through March 4, 2012

Ghost Orchids by glass artist Siobhan Healy closing March 4 at the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Ghost Orchids, a glass sculpture by Scottish glass artist Siobhan Healy, which is currently on display in the Glass Flowers gallery at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, can be seen through March 4, 2012. The inspiration for the artist's subtle and thought-provoking piece is the Ghost Orchid (Epipogium aphyllum), a rare British wild flower recently rediscovered after it was thought to be extinct for 23 years.  Healy depicts the orchid in transient and ethereal clear glass, encouraging the viewer to reflect on the potential loss of this fragile species—an evocative emblem of the one in five of wild flowers that are threatened with extinction. 

Healy's intriguing work brings new attention to the threats worldwide to native plants and wildflowers. As a glass artist, Healy reaches out to new audiences who might not otherwise be aware.

"The delicate nature of the glass models illustrates the challenge the ghost orchids face: the orchid remains underground for many years, unseen, seldom revealing its flowers. If its habitat is disturbed, they perish and they are hardly missed. Many other orchids worldwide face the same fate," commented Dr. Gustavo A. Romero, Keeper of the Oakes Ames Orchid Herbarium at Harvard.

Ghost Orchids opened to the public on December 2, 2011

About the artist:
Siobhan Healy works with glass and light to create her unique artworks from her Glasgow, Scotland-based studio. She has received several awards, most recently the Creative Development Award from the Scottish Arts Council-Creative Scotland. Healy specializes in architectural glass commissions for public buildings and also sculptural artworks for galleries and public spaces. Her work is in collections in the UK, India, USA and Dubai. Siobhan Healy also has been a consultant and demonstrated glass-making processes on several BBC television programs.


About the Harvard Museum of Natural History

With a mission to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the natural world and the human place in it, the Harvard Museum of Natural History draws on the University’s collections and research to present a historic and interdisciplinary exploration of science and nature. More than 192,000 visitors annually make it the University’s most-visited museum.

Harvard Museum of Natural History is located on the Harvard campus at 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, a short walk from the Harvard Square Red Line T station.  The museum is open daily, 9 am to 5 pm. Parking is available by advance reservation online in the 52 Oxford Street parking garage adjacent to the museum. For more information on exhibits and events, explore the website or call 617-495-3045.

The press release is available for download in pdf format.