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At the beginning of Twentieth Century the United States Department of Agriculture commissioned artists to produce watercolors of new fruit introductions. More than 7,000 paintings covering 38 plant families have survived and are reproduced here on colour microfiche.
The original paintings are housed in the herbarium of the U.S. National Arboretum. About 40 percent are designated types while some of the paintings are probably the only illustrations in existence of the cultivars they represent.
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Why are we so drawn to such bleak, harrowing depictions of our future?