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Scolopendrium Vulgare

Scolopendrium Vulgare

1852-1854

Anna Atkins

(British, 1799-1871)

Cyanotype

Image: 33.3 x 22.9 cm (13 1/8 x 9 in.); Paper: 48.3 x 37.5 cm (19 x 14 3/4 in.); Matted: 61 x 50.8 cm (24 x 20 in.)

Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund 1995.26

Description

In 1843, Anna Atkins produced the first book illustrated with photographs. The book was the earliest use of photography in a scientific publication. An amateur botanist, Atkins overcame the difficulties of making accurate drawings by placing plants directly on light-sensitive paper and exposing them to light. With these cameraless photographs, later called photograms, she was able to carefully record the basic elements of a plant's line, shape, and texture. This example illustrates a specimen of Scolopendrium Vulgare, also known as Hart's-Tongue fern.

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