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Helen Hornberger  Search this
Copper, oil paint
Overall: 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm)
Stem: 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Flower: 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
Artificial flowers and trees
United States
Artist, Helen Hornberger, revived the techniques of French tole to create naturalistic representations of the state flowers. The artist used thin copper sheets as her base, and painted them with oil paint in the natural colors of the blossoms and leaves of the Scarlet Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus). The blossom has red, grazed and serrated petals. The receptical below the petals is surrounded by pointed sepals that connect to the stem. Along the stalk there are four narrow leaves that curl at the tip.
Label Text:
The Congress of Representative Women at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago proposed that each U.S. state and territory select a flower to represent their state in the “National Garland of Flowers.” This resulted in the National Floral Emblem Society. Each state has adopted to represent the state and its people based on their importance to the state’s history, economy, folklore, or native varieties. Tole artist Helen Hornberger created each artificial flower representing each state to create for a bouquet displaying America’s floral diversity.
OHIO: The Scarlet Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) was designated the official state flower of Ohio in 1904. This flower was chosen to honor the assassinated President William McKinley who was from Ohio. A favorite of the president, he was known to wear red carnations stuck in his button hole or pinned on the lapel of his jacket. Scarlet Carnations usually have five clawed and serrated petals, and they are the most fragrant carnation species. They actually grow in a variety of colors including red, white, pink, and purple. They can be seen along the state roadways, and are grown in many lawns and gardens of the Buckeye State. The Scarlet Carnation is among the most popular flowers sold in Ohio, and every year people gather from around the state to celebrate the annual Carnation Festival in Carnation City, Ohio. Ohio also recognizes an official state wildflower, White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum), which was adopted in 1986.
copper  Search this
tôle  Search this
Artificial flowers  Search this
crafts  Search this
emblems (symbols)  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
Ohio  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection. Gift of Helen Hornberger.
Accession number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens