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Bridgham, Joseph. Icones Farlowianae watercolor illustrations, 1889-1912: A Guide.

Archives of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany, Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Archives of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany, Botany Libraries, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: far00019
Repository: Archives of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany, Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Creator: Bridgham, Joseph
Creator: Krieger, L. C. C. (Louis Charles Christopher), 1873-1940
Creator: Farlow, W. G. (William Gilson), 1844-1919
Title: Icones Farlowianae watercolor illustrations
Date(s): 1889-1912
Quantity: 3 linear feet (14 flat boxes)
Language of materials: English


This collection was given to the Farlow Herbarium by Lilian Horsford Farlow after the death of her husband, William Gilson Farlow, in 1919.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is available by appointment for research. Researchers must register and provide two forms of valid photo identification. Please contact botref@oeb.harvard.edu for additional information.

Related Materials

Other related material at the Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria: Louis Charles Christopher Krieger glass plate negatives.

Related material at other institutions

Historical Note

The creation of "Icones Farlowianae: illustrations of the larger fungi of eastern North America" involved four botanists, two artists, two printers, and numerous photographers and editors. The work spanned more than forty years and cost an estimated $50,000.
An icones, from the Latin "icon" meaning an image or figure, is a collection of illustrations representing a specific object or subject. "Icones" was an important project for William Gilson Farlow. He believed it would serve as a much needed guide, particularly for those without access to a large collection of fungi to aid in identification.
Following Farlow's death in 1919, Roland Thaxter, Edward Angus Burt, and Carroll William Dodge assumed responsibility for publishing the guide. This proved challenging as both Thaxter and Burt suffered from ill health and all three botanists had numerous commitments which included teaching, research, and their own publishing. There were also issues with the printers and many of the plates had been damaged while in storage. Burt, who provided the text for "Icones," explained in his introduction that it was worth the hardship to honor the memory of Dr. Farlow.

Biographical Note

Joseph Bridgham was born in New York City on October 15, 1845, to Samuel and Eliza Ann Bridgham (née Fales). He was educated at private schools and graduated from Brown University in 1867. He went on to study architecture and worked as an architect for several years. Bridgham married Florence Madeleine Jenckes in 1870; the couple lived in Rhode Island and had three children.
Entomology was a pastime Bridgham shared with his mother. He joined the American Entomological Society in 1863 and amassed a collection of over 30,000 insects. His interest in natural history eventually led him to give up architecture to pursue nature illustration full time. Bridgham was known for his renderings of microscopic images.
Much of Bridgham's work was commissioned by universities and scientific institutions. He contributed over 40 plates to Alpheus Spring Packard's monograph on bombycine moths, produced a set of illustrations of North American flowers and mosses for Columbia College in New York, and frequently worked with the Smithsonian Institution. From 1889 to 1899 Bridgham worked with Harvard professor William Gilson Farlow, preparing illustrations and frequently accompanying Farlow on field excursions to collect specimens for his monograph on the fungi of North America.
Bridgham died on April 12, 1915, at his home in East Providence, Rhode Island. The Bridgham's brocade moth, Oligia bridghamii, is named for him.


Louis Charles Christopher Krieger was born on February 11, 1873, in Baltimore, Maryland to Henry and Katharine Lentner Krieger. He attended parochial school and enrolled at the Maryland Institute School of Art and Design in 1886. He continued his studies at the Charcoal Club School of Fine Arts and in 1891 was hired as an assistant artist at the United States Department of Agriculture. Krieger worked in the Division of Microscopy under Thomas Taylor, who was particularly interested in mushrooms and set Krieger the task of painting local mushrooms and copying plates of European mushrooms.
The Division of Microscopy closed in 1895 and Krieger spent the next year in Munich studying at the Royal Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. He returned to Maryland in 1896 to teach drawing and painting until 1902 when William G. Farlow invited him to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Krieger spent the next ten years as a mycological illustrator for Farlow. In 1904 he married Agnes Checkley Keighler. Their daughter, Agnes, was born in 1909.
Krieger returned to the U.S.D.A. in 1912 and was assigned to the Plant Introduction Garden in Chico, California. Over the next five years he painted a large series of cactus species for agriculturist, David Griffiths. In 1918 Krieger resumed his study and illustration of mushrooms with Howard Atwood Kelly, a Baltimore physician.
Krieger illustrated sugarcane diseases for the Tropical Plant Research Foundation in Cuba in 1928 and 1929. This work was followed by an appointment as Mycologist at the New York State Museum in Albany. Over the next year Krieger prepared the manuscript and illustrations for "A popular guide to the higher fungi of New York State," published in 1935. He returned to government service in 1929 to collaborate again with David Griffiths.
Krieger was predeceased by his wife in 1939. He died in Washington, D.C. on July 31, 1940.
Stevenson JA. 1941. Louis Charles Christopher Krieger, 1872-1940. Mycologia. 33(3):241-247.

Scope and Content

This collection primarily consists of original watercolor illustrations of fungi by Bridgham and Krieger prepared for Farlow and used in his posthumously published monograph, "Icones Farlowianae: illustrations of the larger fungi of eastern North America." The illustrations are based on voucher specimens deposited in the Farlow Herbarium. There are over 300 illustrations by Bridgham, arranged alphabetically by genus and species. There are around 350 illustrations by Krieger, arranged numerically by Krieger number. Some of Krieger's illustrations bear annotations by Farlow curator, Rolf Singer (1906-1994), or by Danish mycologist, Jakob Lange (1864-1941). Updated or annotated names were provided by Donald H. Pfister, Curator of the Farlow Library and Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany in 2011. The location note refers to the places the fungi were from, not necessarily where the specimen was drawn.
The collection also contains pencil sketches, cyanotypes, photographs, plate proofs, and notes.

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