Anna Atkins’ 19th c. cyanotypes blend botany + beauty.


Ceylon by Anna Atkins

It feels fitting that Anna Atkins’ birthday falls right in the middle of Women’s History Month. The pioneering botanical photographer was born on March 16th, right before the turn of the 19th century—which makes this coming Tuesday the 222nd anniversary of her arrival on Earth. And what a mark she’d make! Atkins’ photograms of plants legitimized photography as a means of scientific documentation, and may have been the first photos ever taken by a woman. Captured by placing specimens directly onto light-sensitive paper, the images—called cyanotypes—turned cyan-blue once developed. Atkins’ went on to self-publish her findings in the first-ever book of photographic illustrations, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions.

We’ve written all about Atkins’ game-changing images, so we’ll keep this missive short, sweet, and heavy on her stunning sun prints. Peruse the rest of our Atkins’ print collection here, and if you like what you see, be sure to check out contemporary artist Caitlin Parker’s cyanotype pieces. Turns out having the blues is a blessing.

With art for everyone,
Team 20x200


Leucojam varium by Anna Atkins

Sargassum bacciferum by Anna Atkins

Ptilota sericea by Anna Atkins

Chylocladia clavellosa by Anna Atkins

More Anna Atkins

Sweet on Cyanotypes?


Bi-coastal by Caitlin Parker

Catskill Prairie by Caitlin Parker

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