Thursday, May 3, 2007

in the blue

Those of you who read my blog regularly have probably noticed how much I love digital archives ~ and the New York Public Library has one of the best. The library is also home to a rare copy of Anna Atkins' Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843-1853). Atkins was an amateur British botanist, who made use of the then fledgling photographic process to record botanical specimens. In British Algae, she collected and made impressions of over 200 types of seaweed. Though her intent was to create a scientific record, the prints are so aesthetically beautiful.

(images: The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations)


Kerry said...

Janet, I LOVE Anna's drawings and photographs. I first saw the book--Ocean Flowers--at a store in Berkeley called Tail of the Yak. I knew I had to have it...and leave it out a table, so that I can page through it whenever I want to. Simply beautiful.

Janet said...

Oh, I am so jealous that you have a copy of Ocean Flowers. The only copies I have been able to find online are several hundred dollars (they should do a reprint!). If you ever see an AFFORDABLE copy, let me know! Luckily we have a copy at work that I can peek at every now and then. There is only one other book of her work that I know of, and that was published back in the 1980s.