Talking Points: Anna Atkins
This collection of videos and sources will help you explore the work of Anna Atkins.
Please note that this page contains links to external websites and has videos from external websites embedded. At the time of creating, AccessArt checked all links to ensure content is appropriate for teachers to access. However external websites and videos are updated and that is beyond our control.
Please let us know if you find a 404 link, or if you feel content is no longer appropriate.
We strongly recommend as part of good teaching practice that teachers watch all videos and visit all websites before sharing with a class. On occasion there may be elements of a video you would prefer not to show to your class and it is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure content is appropriate. Many thanks.
Anna Atkins was a botanist and photographer in the 1800s. She is considered as the first person to publish a book of photographs.
The process she used was called cyanotype. This used light exposure and a simple chemical process to create blueprints of botanical specimens.
To read more about the invention of photographs explore this Google Arts and Culture resource.
Explore the images and sources below and use the questions to inspire classroom discussion.
Schizonema Dillwynii by Anna Atkins, Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005