The USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection documents fruit and nut varieties developed by growers or introduced by 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.
- Time period: 1886 to 1942, with the majority created between 1894 and 1916.
- Content: 7,584 watercolor paintings, lithographs and line drawings, including 3,807 images of apples.
- Fruit origins: The plant specimens illustrated originated in 29 countries and 51 states and territories in the U.S.
- Artists: The paintings were created by approximately twenty-one artists commissioned by USDA for this purpose. Some works are not signed.