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The apples of her art

Inspired by science journalist Michael Pollan’s description of rare, odd apples from the Noah’s Ark of apples in his book “The Botany of Desire, artist Jessica Rath twice visited Cornell’s Plant Genetics Resource Unit in Geneva, N.Y.

Writes The Atlantic: “… America’s apple archivist, Philip Forsline, has assembled and tended a vast Noah’s Ark of more than 2,500 apple varieties: two clones of each, in order to preserve the fruit’s genetic biodiversity. Meanwhile, on the same Cornell/USDA Agricultural Experiment Station, Susan Brown, one of the country’s three commercial apple breeders, develops new clones by cultivating wildly different seed sisters.”

Rath went on to create nine sculptures based on PGRU apple varieties, such as the cluster above, made of high-fire glazed porcelain and bronze. Her exhibition “take me to the apple breeder” is on display at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.


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