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Eudoxia Woodward (1919 -2008) is known for her artwork in which she brought together art and science, math and botany, in imaginative compositions including visual puns, time lapses, and historical references. For years she exhibited her paintings and gave lectures, with titles such as, “Flowers, Art or Science?”, “the Geometry of Flowers”, or, the “Mystery of Flowers”. In the last few years of her life, she created a “Digital Portfolio”, a presentation of her paintings, along with texts and details, by which she elucidated the mathematical and geometric laws, as well as botanical features, involved in each plant’s form and growth.

Part 1 in this book reproduces Eudoxia’s Portfolio. Part 2 follows with a compilation of the artist’s writings, with commentary, assembled and written by her daughter, Crystal Woodward. Eudoxia’s notes, sketches, exhibits, and family history, presented with numerous images, bring to light her creative thinking and whimsy and humor, in artworks including themes such as Platonic Solids and spherical pentagons, the Fibonacci Sequence, Symmetry, and, for her of primary importance, “Nature’s Perfect Packaging”. As she wrote, “A casual or haphazard observation sees only the botanical accuracy of the flowers I paint, but on closer study there is evidence of my interest in mythology, symbolism, geometric forms, numerical sequences, often with playful implications and trompe-l’oeil.” Her story also offers us a glimpse of the social and intellectual life of her time, in the area around Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, from her work at Polaroid in the 1940’s, to her marriage to a Nobel Prize scientist, to her involvement with the Design Science “Philomorphs” at Harvard University.

The Geometry and Mystery of Flowers
The Art of Eudoxia Woodward

Part 1: Digital Portfolio

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Part 2: The Geometry and Mystery of Flowers

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“[…] presenting scientific information in a manner of the artist heightens the value of that scientific information; it emphasizes the universal timelessness (even the mystic nature) of man’s observations. It is a method of bridging that so-called fearful gap between the various disciplines.”

Eudoxia Woodward

(Notes, Arnold Arboretum Gallery Talk 1977)


Eudoxia drawing (1942) photo by Erhart Muller

“Lollipop Plant”, watercolor, 18” x 24”

"A unique and absolutely beautiful book, Crystal Woodward’s 'The Geometry and Mystery of Flowers: The Art of Eudoxia Woodward' unfolds like the flowers that her mother,  the protagonist of this book, lovingly took apart  and re-assembled in her 'Digital Portfolio.'  There we all see the magic of realistic portrayal, in transformative detail,  garnished by witty excursions out of Eudoxia’s imagination."
- Roald Hoffmann

“Balloon Flower, 8/90”. (14” by 17”)

"What we discover, more in the preliminary sketches than in the finished paintings, are the steps, the artist’s working process, of looking from many angles, of trying many combinations of her observations with her geometrical knowledge. In the finished paintings not all these steps are included, these steps by which the real, natural world, as observed, and the ideal world of Platonic Solids and geometric forms, are harmoniously, beautifully, woven together into artistic unities. This imparts a surreal quality. So there’s a strangeness, or, it gives a sense of whimsy, of something fun and unexpected happening, or, of there being cryptic, deeper, universal meanings, maybe even spiritual, we do not know, 'mysteries'. The paintings welcome and embrace a unifying of these different qualities, […] we step into the heart of the art as a form of scientific research, a stirring our minds to another level of awareness."

Crystal Woodward

“[…] I paint the geometric aspects of flowers because of a sort of flame to curiosity, to use Darwin’s phrase.” 

Eudoxia Woodward


"In their book – yes, an  art book, but also an analysis of life-long creation, the outline of the creative coexistence of art and science, and a biography -- Crystal and Doxie make this poetic vision come to life."

- Roald Hoffmann

Long awaited, now completed!

For more inquiries about The Geometry and Mystery of Flowers: The Art of Eudoxia Woodward, please contact Crystal Woodward at

Eudoxia Woodward  (1988) photo by Crystal Woodward

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