Stunning Cover Art from Vintage Seed Nursery Catalogs

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The Smithsonian’s collection of Seed Nursery catalogs is a fascinating glimpse into the history of fruit and vegetable advertising. There are over 258 catalogs in the collection, the most precious or which date from 1830 to 1930. As the Smithsonian says, these catalogs, and particularly the covers, “are a window into the history of graphic arts in advertising, and a social history, through the text and illustrations, showing changing fashions in flowers and vegetables.”

The catalogs are held in the Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collection in the National Museum of American History Library. They do not circulate, but you can view the covers online.