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Helen Hornberger  Search this
Copper, oil paint
Overall: 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm)
Stem: 5 in. (12.7 cm)
Flower: 6 1/2 in. (16.5 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 Peach Blossom (Prunus persica). Three mauve blossoms cupped by green sepals stem along a branch topped by slender, brown and green leaves.
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.
DELAWARE: The Peach Blossom (Prunus persica) was designated the official state floral emblem of Delaware in 1895, but it was not named the official state flower until 1953. The Peach Blossom was chosen because of Delaware’s reputation as the “Peach State.” At the time the state contained more than 800,000 peach trees in her orchards. Peach Blossoms are solitary or paired blooms that can be very small or large and showy. They usually have no more than five petals. These delicate flowers range from light pink to light purple. They appear each year before the Peach leaves. Sadly, by the early 1900s the peach disease called “the yellows” caused the collapse of Delaware’s peach industry. Today the United States is the leading peach grower in the world, but there are few Peach Blossoms in Delaware. Despite this, Delaware still loves its peaches and peach pie was designated as the official state dessert in 2009.
copper  Search this
tôle  Search this
Artificial flowers  Search this
crafts  Search this
Delaware  Search this
emblems (symbols)  Search this
flowers (plants)  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