Violetta Delafield - Botanist & Mycologist

Violetta Delafield

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Botanist & Mycologist

A turning point in Violetta White's life came in the 1890s, when she began her study of botany.

Her understanding of botany extended to the cellular level, as evidenced by her notebook annotations and microscope.

The late 19th century witnessed a surge of women into the botanical field. This was especially true of women on the eastern seaboard and California. It was also typical for women to provide field work (e. g. samples, sketches, notes) for male mentors in the scientific establishment.

Violetta represented the latest generation of women at Montgomery Place who were leaders in emerging trends in horticulture and plant study.

Microscope owned by Violetta Delafield, by Richards & Company. Brass, steel, glass and wood, c. 1890. Bard College, Montgomery Place Collection.

Page from a scientific sketchbook showing the structures of Agaricus campestris, by Violetta Delafield. Pencil on paper, February 20, 1899. Bard College, Montgomery Place Collection.

Page from a scientific sketchbook showing various fresh-water phytoplankton, including Chroococcus turgidus, Oscillatoria foria and Nostoc algae, by Violetta Delafield. Pencil on paper, November 7-17, 1899. Bard College, Montgomery Place Collection.

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