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Caroline Murdoch's Wildflower Paintings
From the Economic Archives of Oakes Ames

This collection consists of two boxes of watercolor paintings and drawings by Mrs Caroline Dorcas Smith Murdoch. Not much is known about Mrs Murdoch herself. Her husband was Joseph Maria Sauriano Domingo de la Trinidad Murdoch, who was born and spent his childhood in Cuba, where his father, the second in a long line of John Murdochs was a wealthy plantation owner. Remarkably, Joseph, a Boston fire insurance company executive, enlisted in the Union Army at age 52 to fight in the Civil War, with the Massachusetts 45th Regiment, achieving the rank of captain.

Her brother, John Murdoch (1852-1925), was a trained as a zoologist from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, a professor of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin (1880-1881), a naturalist as part of the Polar Expedition to Point Barrow Alaska (1881-1883), and a librarian at the Smithsonian Instituion (1887-1892). In 1896, he became an assistant cataloger at the Boston Public Library, a post which he kept until 1923.

In 1906 John Murdoch presented a portion of these watercolors to the Botanical Museum at Harvard University for exhibition. The remainder were the gift of Miss Caroline L.W. French, who in May of 1903 bequethed to Professor G.L. Goodale watercolors painted for her by Caroline Murdoch.

Each watercolor in the first box is accompanied by a wooden plate providing information about the watercolor, such as plant species. The second box in the collection contains the watercolors painted as a gift for Miss French by Murdoch and were also presented to Goodale and mounted for exhibition. Some are signed and dated by Miss Murdoch stating that they were painted for Miss French, including a plate that says, "Paintings for Miss C.L.W. French by Miss C.D. Murdoch, 1868" and range in date from 1867-1869.



References:
(1) The A.N. Marquis Company. Who Was Who in America: A Companion Volume to Who's Who in America. Vol. 1. (Chicago: The A.N. Marquis Company, 1942).
(2) L.R. Hamersly & Company. Men and Women of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporaries. (New York: L.R. Hamersly & Company, 1909), 1216.
Dr. Malcolm Peck, AB 1961 and AM (GSAS) 1966. In an email 2011.

 

Box 1:


Plate 7: Amelanchier canadensis
(June Berry or Wood Pyrus)


Plate 25: Geranium maculatum
(Spotted Geranium)


Plate 49: Rosa carolina
(Wild Rose)


Plate 70: Gentiana crinita
(Fringed Gentian)


Folder 1:

1.
Name: Saxifraga virginiensis
(Early Saxifrage)

2.
Name: Hepatica triloba
(Early anenoma)

3.
Name: Epigaea repens
(Ground laurel or May flower)

4.
Name: Anenome nemorosa
(Wood anemone)

5.
Name: Anemonella thalictroides
(Rue-leaved anenome )

Folder 2:

7.
Name: Amelanchier canadensis?
( June berry or Wood Pyrus)

8.
Name: Sanguinaria canadensis
( Red Puccon: Bloodroot )

9.
Name: Viola fimbriatula
(Spade-leaved Violet )
Notes: Initialed by Murdoch

10.
Name: Viola pedata
(var. Violets )

Folder 3:

11.
Name: Viola

12.
Name: Viola lanceolata
(Spear-leaved Violet )

13.
Name: Viola pubescens
(Yellow violet)

14.
Name: Fragaria virginiana
(Wild Strawberry)

Folder 4:

16.
Name: Potentilla canadensisvar. simplex
(Common cinquefoil)

17.
Name: Tephrosia virginiana

18.
Name: Erythronium americanum
(Dog-tooth Violet )
Notes: Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

19.
Name: Trientalis americana

20.
Name: Smilacina racemosa
(Two leaved Solomon's seal )

Folder 5:

22.
Name: Polygola puciflora
(Fringed Polygola )

23.
Name: Uvularia sessilifolia
(Sessile-leaved Bellword )
Notes: Additonal partly colored sketch on the back of the plate.

24.
Name: Rhododendron canadense

25.
Name: Geranium maculatum
(Spotted geranium)

26.
Name: Geranium Robertianum

Folder 6:

29.
Name: Kalmia litifolia

31.
Name: Cornus canadensis
(Dwarf comel )
Notes: Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

32.
Name: Cornus canadensis
(in fruit )

33.
Name: Trillium undulatum
(Painted Trillium )

34.
Name: Lysimachia quadrifolia

Folder 7:

35.
Name: Berberis vulgaris
(Barberry bush )

36.
Name: Apios tuberosa

37.
Name: Castilleja coccinea
( Painted cup)

38.
Name: Hypoxis erecta
(Yellow Bethlehem Star )



Box 2


39.
Name: Vaccinium

40.
Name: Lathyrus maritimus

Folder 8:

41.
Name: Helianthemum canadense
( Rock rose)
Notes: Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board.
Small stain on the bottom left.

42.
Name: Silene pennsylvanica
(Catch fly or Wild pink)

43.
Name: Pyrus abutifolia
(Chokeberry )

44.
Name: Mitchella repens
(Partridge berry )

45.
Name: Mitchella repens
(Partridge berry in fruit )

46.
Name: Rhododendron viscosum
(Wild honey-suckle)

Folder 9:

47.
Name: Asclepias tuberosa

48.
Name: Rosa rubiginosa
(Sweet Briar rose)

49.
Name: Rosa carolina
(Wild Rose )
Notes: Additonal partly colored sketch on the back of the plate.

51.
Name: Lysimachia terrestris
(Upright Loose Strife )

Folder 10:

52.
Name: Rhododendron maximum
(American Rosebay )
Notes: Signed by C.D. Murdoch

53.
Name: Lilium canadense L. philadelphicum

54.
Name: Magnolia virginiana
(Small magnolia )

55.
Name: Sisyrinchium gramincum
(Blue-eyed grass )

56.
Name: Solanum dulcamara
(Woody Night Shade )

57.
Name: Gaultheria procumbens
(Chegur Berry )

58.
Name: Apocynum androsaemifotium
(Dogbane )

59.
Name: Vaccinium macrocarpum
(Common Cranberry)

60.
Name: Pontederia cordata
(Pickerelweed)

Folder 11:

63.
Name: Oenothera biennnis
(Primrose)
Notes: Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board.

64.
Name: Sagittaria latifolia
(Arrow head)

65.
Name: Gerardia tenuifolia
(Stalked Gerardia)

66.
Name: Gerardia purpurea
(Purple gerardia )

67.
Name: Impatiens noli-tangere
(Touch me not )

Folder 12:

68.
Name: Gerardia pedicularia
(Bushy gerardia )

69.
Name: Gentiana saponaria
(Barrel gentian )

70.
Name: Gentiana crinita
(Fringed gentian )

71.
Name: Caltha palustris

72.
Name: Steironema

73.
Name: Rhododendron nudiflorum



Azalea decora


Unknown.


Unknown.


Gloire De Dijon


Folder 1: Ericaceae

Name: Erica cavendishii

Name: Epacris hyacinthiflora
Rotea x candidissima
Notes: Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Erica murryana
Erica alberti superba
Erica bowieana

Name: Epacris miniata, Epacris vilmoreana, Princess Royal
Notes: New growth of Epacris

Name: Erica vestita rosea, Erica ventricosa superba
Notes: Painted for Miss French 1867- C.D. Murdoch

Name: Erica cavendishii andromediofolia, Erica bowieana
Erica perpendem juliflora

Folder 2: Orchidaceae

Name: Oncidium bifolium
(Orchid)
Notes: Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Oncidium bifolium (Yellow Orchid), Rivina humilis (Red Berry)
Notes: Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch March 1869
Light pencil sketch of Oncidium bifolium located on the back of the plate.

Name: Dendrobium nobile
Notes: Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Bletia tankervilleae
Notes: Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Bletia hyacinthianna

Folder 3: Rosaceae

Name: Gloire de Dijon
Date: 1866

Name: Misc. Roses
Location: From "Woodland" Garden

Name: Gloire de Dijon
Location: Triomphe des Beaux Arts
Notes: Painted for Miss French 1867- C.D. Murdoch

Name: Bonsaline
Notes: Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch 1869

Name: Marshall Bongard Rose
Notes: Painted by Mrs. Murdoch

Name: ?????
Notes: Signed by C.D. Murdoch July 1869

Folder 4: Pteridaceae

(left to right) Name: Pteris cretica var. albolineata (fern)
Venticillata, Pteris rotundifolia (fern), Erica capressianna
Notes: Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch 1867

Name: Pteris tricolor
(Fern)

Name: Pteris

Name: Pteris argyraea
(Fern)
Notes: Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch 1867

Folder 5: Miscellaneous

Name: Anigozanthos flavida

Name: Euphorbia pulcherrima
(Poinsettia)

Name: Begonia sanguinea

Name: Tupelo

Name:Begonia
Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Metrosideros floribunda
Date: March 1869
Notes: Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch

Name: Begonia
Notes: Slight stain on the back of the plate.
Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Folder 6: Miscellaneous

Name: Ranunculus Flowers
Notes: Bulbs brought back from Rome by J.D.N.F. in 1867

Name: Gloxinia nilsonii

Name: Allamanda

Name: Cotyledon umbilicata
Notes: Plant given by Mr. Harding from Cape of Good Hope

Name: Gloxinia fulgens
Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Gloxinias: Nilsonii, Ipomea
Location: Mount Parnassus

Name: Achimenes

Folder 7: Miscellaneous

Name: Pelargonium X josephinum
Pelargonium militare
Notes: Signed by C.D. Murdoch 1867

Name: Pelargonium
Notes: Painted for Miss French June 1867- C.D. Murdoch

Name: Lapageria rosea

Name: Polygala
Notes: Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch 1867

Name: The Italian Linum or Flax
Notes: Seed from Italy

Name: Justicia

Name: Arum triphyllum

Folder 8: Miscellaneous

Name: Anomatheca cruenta

Name: Salvia

Name: Eucharis amazonica
Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Stephanotis

Name: Pleroma elegans

Name: Painted Trillium

Name: Clerodendrum

Folder 9: Miscellaneous

Name: Gladiolus lyonii
Notes: Given by Mrs Charles ????

Name: Polyanthus
Notes: Painted for Miss French 1867- C.D. Murdoch

Name: Agapanthus africanus

Name: Chorizema lawrenceana

Name: Gardenias florida and montana
Notes: Painted for Miss French May 1869- C.D. Murdoch
Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board



Name: Glory

Name: Alba rosea or La Marque
Notes: Painted for Miss French 1867- C.D. Murdoch

Folder 10: Miscellaneous

Name: Sparaxis

Name: Calceolaria
Notes: Seeds brought from Europe in 1867.
Signed by C.D. Murdoch

Name: Fringed Gentian
Notes: Grown near Nellie's farm in Andover

Name: Eriostemon cuspidatus

Name: Alba coccinea

Name: Auricula

Name: Leptos

Folder 11: Miscellaneous

Name: Exquisita
Notes: Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch March 1869

Name: Azalea decora
Notes: Signed by C.D. Murdoch April 1868

Name: Azalea cornosa

Name: Azalea magnificans

Name: Ardens
Notes: Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch March 1869
Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Madame ????

Folder 12: Miscellaneous

Name: Anne Boleyn, Henrietta, Ostoria
Notes: Signed by C.D. Murdoch Oct. 186?

Name: Little Beauty, Ostoria
Notes: Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch 1867

(clockwise from top) Name: Epacris pulchella, Erica versicolor
Begonia, Ardisia berries, Ixora coccinea
Lobelia, Eugenia (Myrtle evergreen), Cantua bicolor

Name: Caladium, Chantinii
Notes: Painted for Miss French 1867- C.D. Murdoch

Name: Croton pictus. Croton variegatus
Notes: Painted for Miss French May 1867- C.D. Murdoch

Name: Yucca aloifolia variegata, Sarracenia purpurea
Notes: Painted for Miss French May 1869- C.D. Murdoch

Name: Achyranthes verschaffeltii, Iresine herbstii
Notes: Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch May 1868

Folder 13: Miscellaneous Unknown

Name: Unknown
Notes: Sketch depicts four green leaves and two acorns.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Sketch depicts a small bunch of white and pink flowers on a branch.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Sketch depicts white flowers and green stems and leaves, as well as a small illustration of leaves on the back of the plate.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Sketch depicts two white, one purple and one yellow flower amongst green leaves. An additonal sketch of leaves is on the back of the plate.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Sketch depicts three red and pink flowers on a branch.
Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Unknown
Notes: Sketch depicts a bunch of small white flowers amongst larger green leaves.
Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch 1867

Folder 14: Miscellaneous Unknown

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts flowers of different genera and color.
Painted for Miss French- C.D. Murdoch May 1869

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts one pink and white flower.
Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts a small bunch of pink and white flowers on branch.

Name: Unknown
Notes:Illustration depicts four multicolored leaves on a branch.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts one white flower with a red and yellow center.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts purple flowers amongst leaves and a small dirt patch.

Folder 15: Miscellaneous Unknown

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts purple flowers and green leaves with the words, "Painted by Mrs C.D. Murdoch for Miss French 1868" painted in the middle.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts a bunch of yellow flowers on a branch.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts two reddish orange flowers and buds on a branch.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts one pink flower amongst three green leaves.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts four yellowish brown leaves on a short branch.
Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts five multicolored leaves on a branch.

Folder 16: Miscellaneous Unknown

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts one large purple and white flower amongst a few green leaves.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts one large pink, red and white flower on a branch.
Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts one pink and one yellow flower, both on stems.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts one white flower on a stem.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts four pink and white flowers and two green leaves on a stem.

Folder 17: Miscellaneous Unknown

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts one fruit that appears to be a peach, on a branch.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts a bunch of red berries hanging from a branch with green leaves.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts one piece of reddish orange fruit that looks like a pear.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts one piece of fruit that looks like an apple or a peach.

Name: Unknown
Notes: Illustration depicts a bunch of what appears to be grapes hanging from a branch with
two green leaves.
Plate embossed by Reynolds' abraded surface drawing board

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