50 Features of Special Collections: Ellen Schutt Pomological Watercolors


With apple season now in full swing, it is only fitting that we feature the Ellen Schutt Pomological Watercolors this week.

Ellen Isham Schutt (1873-1955) was an illustrator with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1904-1914. From 1914-1915, she worked with the Department of Pomology at the University of California where she created this collection of 286 watercolors of fruits, most of which are apples. These watercolors, which were created as part of the department’s work to systematically identify apple varieties, were created for classroom use and for demonstration purposes. They illustrate examples of a variety of conditions including cold storage, core rot, injury damage, and moth damage, among others. The apples are usually shown in two views: a full view and a half section. The watercolors are available online here.

Some examples from Schutt’s work with the USDA are available on their website.

Jonathan, Mendocino Co., California, 1915.Jonathan, Mendocino Co., California, 1915.