Atkins, Anna

  • Ann GarasciaEmail author
Living reference work entry


Anna Atkins (1799–1871) is a key, though overlooked, player in histories of photography and botany. Atkins’s major artistic projects exemplify how networks of correspondence knit from institutional and domestic affiliations both heightened and erased the historical visibility of women scientists throughout the Victorian period. Atkins was the daughter of John Children, an eminent nineteenth-century scientist who invited Anna into his institutional circles. Father and daughter collaborated in 1823 when she supplied the illustrations for Children’s translation of Lamarck’s Genera of Shells. For her next project, Atkins’s collaborative network expanded to include her father’s scientific contemporaries. From her father’s friend, astronomer John Herschel, Atkins learned a new photographic printing process that produced cyanotypes or blueprints. Atkins parlayed this into her most well-known project, a convergence of art and science titled British Algae: Cyanotype Impressionsthat...


Algae Botany Collection Cyanotype Photography Plants Science 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California State University San BernardinoSan BernardinoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Thomas More CollegeUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada