Anna Atkins. Pteris Rotundifolia (Jamaica) from the album Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Plants and Ferns. 1853

Anna Atkins Pteris Rotundifolia (Jamaica) from the album Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Plants and Ferns 1853

  • Not on view

William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the inventors of photography, predicted that the new medium would make “every man his own printer and publisher.” In actuality, it was a woman, Anna Atkins, whom photography first enabled to act as her own printer of illustrated books. Atkins turned to photography to illustrate her studies of botanical specimens. These cyanotypes were produced by placing each plant directly on light-sensitive paper: areas exposed to light were recorded in cerulean blue, precisely delineating the contours of Atkins’s subjects.

Gallery label from 2019
Medium
Cyanotype (photogram)
Dimensions
10 1/16 × 7 15/16" (25.5 × 20.2 cm)
Credit
Acquired through the generosity of Richard E. and Laura Salomon
Object number
212.2007
Department
Photography

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].