Charles Edward Faxon watercolors
Scope and Contents
This collection contains 39 unnumbered leaves of vascular plant watercolors. Some of the watercolors seem to be unfinished.
- circa 1880-1889
- Faxon, Charles Edward, 1846-1918 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is available by appointment for research. Researchers must register and provide valid photo identification. Please contact email@example.com for additional information.
Extent0.2 linear feet (39 unnumbered leaves; boxed)
Charles Edward Faxon was born on January 21, 1846, to Elisha and Hannah Mann Faxon, in a part of Roxbury, Massachusetts, that later became Jamaica Plain. His interest in nature was fostered by his older brother Edwin, a naturalist. Charles was educated in public schools and at the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard College, where he received a B.S. in civil engineering in 1867.
After college Faxon traveled to Europe for six months and worked in the family leather business for several years. In the late 1870’s Yale botanist, Daniel Cady Eaton, asked Faxon and his brothers to make collections for him. Faxon also contributed watercolor illustrations to Eaton’s “Ferns of North America,” published in two volumes in 1879 and 1880.
Faxon was instructor of botany at Harvard’s Bussey Institution from 1879 to 1884. He was appointed assistant director of the Arnold Arboretum by Charles Sprague Sargent in 1882. Faxon’s work at the Arboretum was primarily to create plates for Sargent’s publications, including the 14-volume “Silva of North America.” Faxon also managed the library and herbarium. He remained at the Arboretum until his death in Jamaica Plain on February 6, 1918.
Cattell JK. 1906. American Men of Science; a biographical directory. New York: Bowker.
Dosmann MS, Pearson LE. 2015. Charles Edward Faxon: Botanical Draftsman. Arnoldia (Jamaica Plain). 73(1):2-10.
Sargent CS. 1918. Charles Edward Faxon. Rhodora. 20(117):117-122.
The provenance of the collection is unknown.
In 2018, Harvard's Imaging Services department digitized this collection as part of the "Original botanical illustrations of the Botany Libraries" project.
- Faxon, Charles Edward, 1846-1918. Charles Edward Faxon watercolors, circa 1880-1889: A Guide.
- Botany Libraries, Arnold Arboretum Library (Cambridge), Harvard University.
- Description rules
- Language of description
- EAD ID
Part of the Botany Libraries, Arnold Arboretum Library (Cambridge), Harvard University Repository
The Harvard University Herbaria houses five research libraries that are managed collectively as the Botany Libraries. The Arnold Arboretum Library in Cambridge specializes in the identification and classification of Old World plants with emphasis on Asia. The Archives of the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge) houses unique resources, primarily field notes related to the plant specimens housed in Cambridge.
Harvard University Herbaria
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