Anna Atkins scientific artifact
Anna Atkins, original name Anna Children (born March 16, 1799, Tonbridge, Kent, England—died June 9, 1871, Halstead Place, Kent), English photographer and botanist noted for her early use of photography for scientific purposes.Atkins learned of the photographic process then being invented. In particular, she was interested in the cyanotype process devised by Herschel in 1842, which can produce an image by what is commonly called sun-printing. The substance to be recorded is laid on paper impregnated with ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide. When exposed to sunlight and then washed in plain water the uncovered areas of the paper turn a rich deep blue. Eventually this process, known as blueprinting, was used mainly to reproduce architectural and engineering drawings.Atkins employed cyanotype to record all the specimens of algae found in the British Isles. The first part of her work, entitled British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, appeared in 1843, and by 1850 she had produced 12 additional parts. During the next three years Atkins completed the publication with 389 captioned photograms and several pages of text, of which a dozen copies are known. In 1854 Atkins, possibly collaborating with her friend Anne Dixon, produced an album entitled Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Flowering Plants and Ferns. Despite the simplicity of her means, Atkins’s project was the first sustained effort to demonstrate that the medium of photography could be both scientifically useful and aesthetically pleasing.
Anna Atkins was one of the first people to create and artifact image that can be explore also as art. I need to look more into her reasoning behind creating the images. Was there ever a need for an artistic element or was she simply ok with the image being used as a supporting document or did she ever see her work having more of an ambiguous intent.
Whilst looking more into Annas work, I have noticed the frequent use of text. I will explore this in a few images this week and see if it adds any con