USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the USDA employed artists to document newly introduced fruit cultivars. The USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection, housed at the National Agricultural Library (NAL) in Beltsville, Maryland, includes more than 7,700 drawings of fruit and nut specimens. Some of these illustrations were reproduced in USDA publications, but most have never been published.
About half of these illustrations depict apples, and the remainder represent many common and uncommon fruits of that time. In addition to the beautiful fruit artwork the collection also includes drawings of many fruit diseases, symptoms of nutrient deficiencies and storage disorders.
NCGR-Corvallis is collaborating with NAL Special Collections to make illustrations available in a digital form that represent the fruit crops preserved at the Corvallis Clonal Repository. Many of these paintings represent cultivars present in our collection today, and these images are being loaded to the GRIN database as historical vouchers for appropriate accessions. Additional information on the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection is available from the NAL Special Collections Web Page.
Illustrations scanned to date for NCGR-Corvallis crops along with historic notes are available on the following pages. These can be accessed from the following links as medium resolution JPEG files. Higher resolution JPEGs are also available.
Pomological watercolors available from NCGR-Corvallis site:
Pomological watercolors available from NAL site:
Approximate number of illustrations in the
USDA Pomological Watercolor Archive Apple 3600 Cranberry Pear Apricot Grape Plum Avocado Hickory & Walnut Pomegranate Cherry Mango Raspberry &
Blackberry Citrus & Relatives Peach & Nectarine Strawberry
Hickory & Walnut
Raspberry & Blackberry
Citrus & Relatives
Peach & Nectarine