In 1843 Anna Atkins began producing Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, the first book to be printed and illustrated using photography. Today, 175 years later, her landmark project—compelling in its fusion of science and art, its modernity, and its realization by a woman in an age marked by the feats of men—remains a touchstone for viewers and makers alike. This exhibition brings together a diversity of works by 19 contemporary artists whose respective practices attest to the wide reach and generative nature of Atkins’s continuing legacy.

Related Events

Meet the Artists: A Series of Mid-Day Conversations in the Gallery - Various dates from October 15–December 19

Be sure to check out the original work of Anna Atkins herself in our companion exhibition Blue Prints: The Pioneering Photographs of Anna Atkins, on view October 19, 2018–February 17, 2019.

Installation Views

Four blue cyanotypes in a single frame, the same image of algae in slightly different shades of blue.
Two blue cyanotypes standing in a case.
Two blue cyanotypes, the left of a famous greek altar and the right of a decaying Sicilian fresco.
3 framed blue cyanotypes.
3 framed blue cyanotypes.
A wall of the Atkins exhibition covered in many prints.
A blue cyanotype set on a peach backing, depicting small images such as buttons, safety pins, and soda tabs.
Two blue cyanotypes set on peach backings, depicting small items such as soda tabs and buttons.
Three frames containing assemblies of neutral brown rectangles.
A frame containing images of many neutral-colored rectangles.
A framed cyanotype in shades of brown.
Three framed cyanotypes, showing long thin lines against shades of brown.
Three framed images, depicting swirls of blue, green and brown.
Two framed cyanotypes of vines. The left is white against a brown background, and the right is black against a white background.
Two framed images, photographs of fanned out pages from old softcover books.
Two framed images, photographs of fanned out pages from softcover books.
A hallway of the Atkins exhibition, walls lined with framed images. The hallway concludes in a large blue cyanotype of algae.
Two framed images, showing blue circles on white backgrounds.
A framed cyanotype of many ferns, in grayscale.