Jefferson's apples

Not a big shock by now, but I am really pretty obsessed with fruit. After all, please note the silly and mildly embarrassing name of this blog, chosen two years ago when I had no idea what a blog even was.

them apples
Last week I became the proud owner of this set of prints, given to me by a friend who knows what's what. I love birthday presents, especially 4 months after the fact.

them apples
The watercolors are from 1820 and document Thomas Jefferson's collection of fruit varieties grown in the orchards of Monticello. Kind of perfect. I mean, an apple called sheep's nose? Did your heart not just melt?

them apples

them apples

them apples
In the spirit of honesty, I feel compelled to tell you I've had a crush on Thomas Jefferson since my middle school took a trip to Monticello. Brilliant, detached and built himself an awesome house? All I could want and more.

Laugh if you must, but have you watched HBO's John Adams? Watch and ye shall see.

25 comments:

  1. These are really beautiful. I adore botanical illos! You're a lucky, lucky girl. ;)

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  2. I was crushing on him in that series, haha!

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  3. Love, love love the John Adams series! :)

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  4. I'm more partial to William Pitt from the movie Amazing Grace myself, but, in all honesty, I have yet to see John Adams. =) I am related to Adams, though, so I shall have to get ahold of the series--for him and Jefferson!

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  5. I thinketh John Adams is too oldeth for me.

    But you have nice prints.

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  6. Amy, Hello....I think your blog title is so apt & felt a lot of thought had gone into it. It's a good dose of medicine for me...everyday. Take care x

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  7. Okay, okay, so some thought did go into it. Just painfully precious and cutesy thought.

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  8. I ditto everything said above--lovely illustrations, nice title, love your blog, etc etc. (Insert original and pithy statement here!)

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  9. it makes me really happy to know that you, me, and paul are probably the only folks under 30 who have seen the john adams mini-series !

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  10. As a matter of fact I did see it (I am over 30 though, so no surprise there ;) I did however shockingly find George Washington to be a little bit sexy.

    The prints are gorgeous!

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  11. over 30 but fairly immature and definitely find history and earlier time periods fascinating. i love that you mentioned "detached" as one of jefferson's appealing qualities!
    i've read american history books others find dry and unappealing like "a midwife's tale" multiple times hanging on every word. :)
    don't have tv but will see if i can watch the adams show on the computer.

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  12. Thomas Jefferson has always been one of my favorites. A few years ago we were able to make a trip to his Monticello. I could have spent days there and was very disappointed that visitors were not allowed upstairs.

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  13. TJ is definitely on of my historical figure crushes. He had a lot to do with why I chose UVA to go to for college. To be able to walk the same steps and be in spaces he designed was a real treat for me. As architecture student, I had many chances to visit Monticello and wonder through his gardens. You can really see the genious and innovation of this man. One really cool thing was he has a plot of sensitive plants and those are so rare in the Americas. Of course he would have an obscure plant that shrinks when touched or durign rain.

    =)

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  14. You must have an AMAZING camera! Your pictures are great! I'm impressedd(:

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  15. Lovely! The colors are so soft and pretty and you can see so much texture in the prints. I agree, you must have a great camera (and a great eye!) - do you mind if I ask what you use?

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  16. I love all-things-Jefferson and have portrayed him professionally for convention audiences from Maine to Hawaii, from Minnesota to Alabama for almost 20 years.
    David McCullough's biography of John Adams is a very engaging book, but I skipped the HBO series based on it. Why, you ask? Because McCullough doesn't care much for Thomas Jefferson. That comes through loud and clear in the book, and from what I've heard, happens again on HBO.
    At one of my speaking engagements, I happened to see about 10 minutes of one HBO episode. The scene was between Jefferson and Adams. It presented a conversation between the two of them that I KNOW did not occur.
    I've compared notes with a Ben Franklin scholar and portrayer. He watched several episodes, noted numerous inaccuracies, and gave up on the series.
    Jefferson, Franklin and Adams are all admirable men, but you won't get an accurate picture of our 3rd President from the book or HBO.
    PS: Jefferson was, indeed, a fruit lover. He would have enjoyed these images and gladly discussed his orchards with you at length.

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  17. I love the prints show spots on the apples - very beautiful.

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  18. you'd love the museum of Economic Botany in Adelaide, South Australia
    they have a collection of handmade wax fruits illustrating the many varieties that were cultivated here in the late 1800s
    made for some international exhibition or other
    here's a link
    http://www.fbga.asn.au/MuseumEconomicBotany.htm

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  19. they look fascinating!! love'em..

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  20. I can't share on the crush for Jefferson, but I do love the prints. And I can see how they're perfect for you, along with the lab beaker on the post above. I do love your photos - they tell the story of who you are in some ways. I haven't been visiting too long, but I have a good laugh every time I do - it's that cynical voice of yours. It cracks me up every time... So thank you. :) It's nice to laugh first thing in the morning.

    -maria

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  21. My camera is a canon rebel T1i.

    I don't feel very cynical and would be a little sad if my writing came across as such, but I'm happy you like the blog, nonetheless.

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  22. thank you for the rosemary's baby feature!!!!!!!!

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  23. Apples are amazing. So many varieties. Have you read "The Botany of Desire"? The section about apples is very interesting, I recommend it.

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  24. Hi there! I know the Jefferson's Apples quotes is an old one... but I'm reading old posts I've missed before... I too have a crush on Mr. Jefferson, I have a copy of a painting of him on the wall above me as I speak! I loved his botanical fascinations so much that I purchased one of his vintage apple trees from Monticello a couple of years ago and planted it on my property in N.C. An amazing man for sure! Bundles of hugs!

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