Monday, September 26, 2011

Anna Atkins

Anna Atkins (1799 - 1871) was an English botanist and photographer. Atkins father was a close friend of Sir John Herschel who invented the Cyanotype process in 1842. Atkins applied this technique in her that self published in its first installment in 1843, which makes it the first book illustrated with photographic images. "Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions" consisting of photograms of algae that were contact printed "by placing the unmounted dried-algae original directly on the cyanotype paper".  I have seen the book in real on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York and almost could not get myself move away from the glass vitrine in which is was placed (last picture).
 You can see all pages of the book here.