So wonderful to see people celebrating British botanist and artist Anna Atkins (1799 – 1871) today, in no small part initiated by Google Doodle commemorating her birthday. Women have made significant contributions to science, yet their accomplishments are not given the same illumination as those of men, so any extra attention is welcomed. Atkins is believed to be the first woman to ever create a photographic book, and possibly the first woman to ever take a photograph. Her images are a type of photogram using what is known as the cyanotype method. Below are a collection of her plants all held by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and available to download and reuse at high resolution under their Open Content Programme. Her purpose was botanical, to document species, yet her arrangement was such that their aesthetic appeal remains timeless.
Iris Sibirica, 1854
Adiantum Capillus Veneris., 1853
Gleichenia immersa (Jamaica)., 1853
Leucojam Varium, 1854
Equisetum sylvaticum, 1853, Cyanotype
Google Doodle 16/03/2015