The Library of Congress today is releasing online the digital images of a rare collection of more than 1,000 hand-colored, glass-plate lantern slides of American gardens taken a century ago by one of the first professional female photographers to achieve international prominence, Frances Benjamin Johnston.
A selection of 250 color images can be seen in a new book by house and garden historian Sam Watters titled “Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935: Photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnston.” The book, in its preface, is described as “sumptuous and scholarly,” providing “a time machine and a magic carpet capable of transporting us back to a lost, golden age in the development of the American garden.”
The Library is unveiling the online images as a complement to the book, which was published this month by Acanthus Press in association with the Library.
The entire collection, 1,130 digital images, can be found in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) at www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/fbj/. This online collection expands the book significantly by providing hundreds of additional images that reveal more fully such beautiful and vanished places as the color-themed gardens of the artists Albert and Adele Herter in East Hampton, N.Y. The collection also includes urban sites in New York City and estates from Pasadena, Calif., to Brookline, Mass. The Library also will upload the images to Flickr on Friday, April 20.
Library of Congress Releases New Online Collection of Rare Garden Images
Filed by April 13, 2012on