Marine Lecture Series Highlights “A Sea of Glass”

Tuesday, March 14, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Emmanuel Parish Hall

— from Jean M Lyle —

Specimen of Blaschka Marine Life. Photo: Corning Museum of Glass

Anyone who has ever stood before the work of 19th-century father-son glassmaking duo Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka will understand how their exquisite pieces inspire obsessions that can span years.

The Blaschkas lived in landlocked Dresden, Germany, but produced more than 800 marine invertebrate models (and also an extensive collection of plants and flowers, which is the strength of the Harvard collection), whose fidelity to their real-life counterparts is stunning.

Drew Harvell wanted to determine how many of the species depicted in the Blaschkas’ glass could still be found in the world’s oceans today, more than 150 years later. Harvell, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Ithaca, New York’s Cornell University, which is the other US institution with a large collection of Blaschka glass (Harvell is curator of this collection), was inspired to travel around the world to pristine and degraded dive sites in a quest to find specimens that would serve as “living matches” to the Blaschka models.

Her presentation will be about the book “A Sea of Glass,” as will as film clips from “Fragile Legacy,” a slide show sharing behind-the-scences stories in the making of the film.

Drew’s book “A Sea of Glass” is available for purchase at Darvill’s bookstore prior to the talk. She will be happy to sign your copy after the lecture at the Parish Hall.

The talk is free and takes place from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 14 at the Emmanuel Episcopal Parish Hall in Eastsound. The 2016-2017 Marine Science Lecture Series is designed to inspire the general public and to highlight the amazing fish and wildlife of our region. Lectures are free.

The Lecture Series is presented by program partners The SeaDoc Society and YMCA Camp Orkila. It is made possible through generous sponsorship by The Averna Family and Deer Harbor Charters, Barbara Bentley and Glenn Prestwich, Barbara Brown, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Audrey and Dean Stupke, West Sound Marina, Inc., and Martha Wyckoff in honor of Lee Rolfe. For more information visit:

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