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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pomological Watercolor Collection

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pomological Watercolor Collection

The USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection is a collection of original watercolors, lithographs, and photographs documenting fruit and nut varieties developed by growers, including USDA plant explorers, around the turn of the 20th century. Technically accurate paintings were used to create lithographs illustrating USDA bulletins, yearbooks, and other series distributed to growers and gardeners across America.

Coverage: 1886 to 1942, with the majority created between 1894 and 1916.

The collection contains 7,584 watercolor paintings, lithographs and line drawings, including 3,807 images of apples. The plant specimens illustrated originated in 29 countries and 51 states and territories in the U.S.

The paintings were created by approximately twenty-one artists commissioned by USDA for this purpose. Some works are not signed.

Dataset Info

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USDA National Agricultural Library
Product Type
Still Images or Photos
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
29 countries and 51 states and territories in the U.S.
Temporal Coverage
Use Limitations
If you use these images in a publication or as part of an original artwork, contact Special Collections at
National Agricultural Library - ARS - USDA
Contact Name
Fugate, Susan
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Related Article

Carey, L., Sinn, S., Fugate, S., Frangakis, E., Pisa, M., Weston, C., & Sines, G. (2003). National Agricultural Library. In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Second Edition (pp. 1942-1952).

White, J. J., & Neumann, E. A. (1982). The Collection of Pomological Watercolors at the U.S. National Arboretum. Huntia, 4 (1982), 103-123.

Wood, M. (2000). Pomological Watercolors: A Wealth of Beauty and Detail. AgResearch Magazine, 48(9), 12. []

Other (Public Domain)
Dataset DOI (digital object identifier)
Program Code
005:037 - Department of Agriculture - Research and Education
Bureau Code
005:18 - Agricultural Research Service
Modified Date
Release Date
Ag Data Commons Keywords: 
  • Maps & Multimedia
  • Maps & Multimedia
  • Images (non-GIS)
  • Plants & Crops
ISO Topic(s):