Hey art lovers,
Today we are going to take you on a journey which showcases plant versions of some great U.S. monuments. These plant-based attractions are showcased in the U.S. Botanic Garden, located in Washington DC.
U.S. Supreme Court
Look at these images, the plant-based miniature version is on the left side and the actual U.S. Supreme Court building is on the right side. The U.S. Supreme Court building was created in 1935 and is dedicated conducting cases for the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the United States.
Do you wonder what is it made of? The plant version of the U.S. Supreme Court is made of several components:
- The roof is made of burning bush, pine cone scales, and willow sticks
- The columns are made of beech nut husks, dusty miller and honeysuckle sticks
- The figures are made of acorns, beech nuts, burning bush stems, corn-husk, chestnut bark and shelf fungus
- The window grids and columns are made of cinnamon
- The steps and terrace are made of seagrape leaves
- The frieze is made of acorns, beech nuts and silver birch buds
Fun fact: The Supreme Court building has been created in the Neoclassical style, with the facade made of Vermont marble.
In comparison of the actual building versus the U.S. Botanic Garden rendition, both buildings contain the same number of pillars, with the entire message and imagery above the 8 pillars! Additionally, the rendition of the statues at the front of the building is very close to the actual image of the statues. Talking to about these statues, in reality they are made of marble and they are work of sculptor James Earle Fraser. On the left side, it is a female figure which symbolizes the Contemplation of Justice. On the right side, it is a male figure which symbolizes the Guardian or Authority of Law. These two sculptures are beautifully justified in the plant-based version of the U.S. Supreme Court. I really appreciate the intricacies of the plant-based version. Besides the beautiful piece, we all can notice the spotlight that is put inside the plant-based sculpture. To me, that spotlight not only brings shine to the beautiful art of the sculpture, but that spotlight also symbolizes justice. This spotlight justifies the real meaning behind the scriptures written on the top – “Equal Justice under Law”.
Next is the U.S. Capitol, which was created in 1800 and is dedicated to the work of the U.S. Congress, including the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Capitol symbolizes the American people, their government and the meeting place of the nation’s legislature.
The plant version of the U.S. Capitol is made of several components:
- The dome is made of acorns, fern fronds, kangaroo pods, pine cone scales, screw pods, seagrass twine, sycamore leaves, wheat, willow sticks and winged euonymus
- The facade is made of elm bark, horse chestnut and pine cone scales
- The columns are made of dusty miller and willow sticks
- The steps are made of horse chestnut bark
- The windows are made of cinnamon
- The architectural details are made of acorn caps, basket cane, bamboo and raffia
- The statue of freedom (at the top of the dome) is made of acorns, beech nuts, chestnut bark, corn husks, pine cone scales, grape tendrils, reeds and shelf fungus
Fun fact: The dome of the U.S. Capitol is made of cast iron and weighs over 8,909,200 pounds.
In comparison of the actual building versus the U.S. Botanic Garden rendition, the dome of the Capitol has a very similar style for the windows and arches. Additionally, the building below the dome has close resemblance between the plant version and the actual Capitol building! Besides the dome, windows and arches, the Statue of Freedom, also known as Armed Freedom is replicated beautifully.
U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory
The U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory was created in 1850 and is dedicated to explaining the education and importance of earth’s delicate ecosystems.
The plant version of the Botanic Garden Conservatory is made of several components:
- The windows are made of rope, willow sticks and thatch reed
- The faces are made of bear paws, cinnamon, grape tendrils, moss, nigella, okra and pine cone scales
- The facade is made of horse chestnut bark and willow sticks
Fun fact: The U.S. Botanic Garden is the oldest continually operating botanic garden in the United States.
In comparison of the actual building versus the U.S. Botanic Garden rendition, the roof of the building closely matches the actual conservatory and contains a similar design for the arched windows! The shine of the dome symbolizes the glass material that is used in the actual sculpture. The small intricacies present on the plant-based rendition are commendable. Lastly, it is very important to note as well as appreciate that this piece is lighter in color as compared to other pieces because in the actual sculpture of the conservatory, weather has caused a lot of discoloration and crackling of the facade and the decorative features. Hence, this aspect is beautifully justified in the plant-based rendition.
Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle)
The Smithsonian Institution Building was created in 1855 and was created to be a centerpiece of the National Mall landscape.
The plant version of the Smithsonian Institution is made of several components:
- The roof is made of pine cone scales, fungi, sycamore leaves, eucalyptus pods, lotus pods, Australian pine fruits and honeysuckle
- The facade is made of bamboo, willow sticks, and pine-cone scales
- The columns are made of acorns, pine cone scales and willow sticks
- The architectural details of the rendition are made of Australian tree fern, cinnamon, grape tendrils and nigella
Fun fact: This building can be toured and the architecture of the location can be viewed along with collection highlights for the other Smithsonian museums.
Loved this one absolutely! In comparison of the actual building versus the U.S. Botanic Garden rendition, the architecture of the roof and windows provides a very close resemblance and is nearly identical! Replication of every small detail adds so much value into this piece, don’t you agree?
National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian was established in September 2004 and was created for the purpose of honoring Native Americans.
The plant version of the National Museum of the American Indian is made of several components:
- The giant fungus roof is made of varnished conk fungus, red-belted conk fungus, and horse’s hoof fungus
- The roof is made of pigeon plum leaf
- The walls are made of river rock, cork oak, deer bone, deer antler, shells, slate, moss and sand dollars
- The tiny striped shelf is made of turkey tail fungus
Fun fact: The museum has over 825,000 Native American arts and artifacts, which cover over 12,000 years in history.
In comparison of the actual building versus the U.S. Botanic Garden rendition, the windows for the three sets of floors are easy to notice, although the color of the stone is different between the two! Furthermore, another thought that came into my mind is that the top of the rendition and overall pattern that was created emphasizes the era of Native Americans. Looking at the rendition, I could feel the vibes. Do you agree?
Library of Congress – Thomas Jefferson Building
Another interesting and mesmerizing rendition was the Library of Congress, which was established in April 1800 and is the national library of the United States. This specific building is called the “Thomas Jefferson Building”.
The plant version of the Library of Congress is made of several components:
- The dome is made of gourd, seagrass twine, chestnut bark, grape tendrils, magnolia fruit stems, acorn caps, pine cone scales, basket cane and tree fern
- The columns are made of pine cone scales, willow sticks, bamboo, false cypress cones and reeds
- The facade is made of locust bark, elm bark, fungi, and pistachio shells
- The windows are made of acorns, bamboo, cinnamon, peppercorns, sweet-gum fruit and eucalyptus pods
- The terrace is made of seagrape leaves
- The trim is made of birch bark, winged euonymus and dusty miller
Fun fact: In the War of 1812, the Library of Congress was destroyed and former President Jefferson sold his library collection to the U.S. Congress as a replacement.
The resemblance between the actual Library of Congress and the rendition by the U.S. Botanic Garden is very close, with the pillars in the middle that are also matching! When comparing both of the sculptures, in the plant-based rendition, my attention goes directly to the dome, as it seems to the focal point; whereas in the actual sculpture, the focal point seems to be the wide rectangular portion of the building (like the area present beneath the dome). According to me, due to miniaturization, sometimes the focal point of the whole image or the sculpture changes. What are your thoughts on that? Do you agree?
The Jefferson Memorial was created in 1943 and is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States.
The plant version of the Jefferson Memorial is made of several components:
- The dome is made of gourd
- The monument exterior is made of pine cone scales, reed, white birch bark and willow sticks
- The columns are made of cinnamon, honeysuckle, nigella and sisal rope
- President Jefferson is made of cinnamon, coriander seed, eucalyptus leaves, mahogany pods, grape tendrils sycamore bark, lichens and white birch bark
Fun fact: The bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson in the memorial shows him holding the Declaration of Independence, as he was one of the key drafters for this important document.
In comparison of the actual building versus the U.S. Botanic Garden rendition, the arches are very close in comparison and it has similar uniformity with the dome and steps leading to the memorial! If you look closely, the statue of Thomas Jefferson can be seen in both of them. The clarity of this rendition is spectacular like in the stairs, the scriptures on top of the pillars.
It was a great visit! I thoroughly enjoyed looking at these beautiful renditions of the spectacular monuments. Share your thoughts on this. Also, please feel free to drop your feedback in the comments section. Looking forward to hear from you!