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  • Melissa Knowles

Anna Atkins Inspired

Updated: Apr 1

English botanical artist, collector and photographer Anna Atkins, born 1799, was the first person to illustrate a book with photographs. Combining her passions for scientific inquiry, technological experimentation, and artistic expression, Atkins used nineteenth-century cyanotypes, a camera-less technology that used light exposure and a simple chemical process, to create detailed blueprints of botanical specimens. Her innovative use of new photographic technologies blended art and science, and showcased the potential of photography in books. Atkins' work has a way of drawing viewers in, prompting us to examine things a little more closely. Her work has sparked my curiosity in new ways, and I am left considering familiar places and familiar photos in an entirely new light.

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