Rhapsody in Blue—science and art!

Web_11Andrea here, musing today on the joys of experiencing that wonderful sense of discovery when you go to see library and museum exhibits. Okay, that's a given with me, as I’m a total history nerd. But more specifically, I’m going to wax poetic on the fun of learning fun little surprises about a subject that’s already a little familiar.

Allow me to explain! The other day I decided to pop into the New York Public Library to catch a small exhibit on Anna Atkins, a pioneer in photography, who's credited with creating the first illustrated book using solely photography. I had discovered her a while back in doing some other research, and love the images she created.


5She worked in a process called cyanotype (forerunner to our modern technique of making blueprints.) It doesn’t require a camera—you place a semi-transparent object on chemically treated paper that has been sensitized to light. (You can also use cloth or any material that will absorb the chemical solution.) Then you expose the paper to sunlight (or artificial light).

Two chemicals are used to sensitize the paper—ferric ammonium and potassium ferricynide. After exposure, you rinse the paper in water and the chemical reaction turns the exposed area a rich Prussian blue while leaving the image area subtle shades of white. (It basically creates a negative, with nuances depending on how much light can come through the object being “photographed.)

4 I’ll get to Atkins's backstory in a moment, but today she’s recognized as an amazing pioneer in photography and science. Inspired by her love of botany, she decided to create a compendium of British algae using cyanotypes. Her artistic sensibilities and scientific knowledge combined to create a masterpiece of incredible beauty and scientific value. One of the many unsung women in history, she’s only recently been recognized for her vision, and for being the first person to apply photography to science. (Aren’t her images beautiful!)

AnnaNow, I knew a little about Anna beforehand—the fact that her father was a famous scientist of the day and encouraged her interest in the subject, that she did amazing technical scientific drawings as a young woman to document her father’s work on shells and minerals—but I learned some really fun things in the exhibit that made me appreciate her and her world even more.

I hadn’t realized what an interesting fellow her father was, and how connected he was with the scientific luminaries of the day. He worked with Humphry Davy on chemical experiments, and with voltaic piles (early batteries)—which feature in my upcoming Wrexford & Sloane mystery! He served as a librarian at the British Museum and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was also good friends with Sir William Herschel, the famous astronomer to King George III.

3Now here’s where it gets fun. Herschel’s son John, who also became a very scientist in his own right, used to ride over from his family estate to visit with Anna, who was his neighbor. It was Herschel who as a young mn invented the cyanotype process, and he showed Anna how to do it. I’ve read a lot on John Herschel, but the exhibit suddenly made him come to life such a personal way—I imagined these two young friends sitting around talking about science and inspiring each other. It made me realize that the scientific community around London was a close-knit one and they all interacted with each other.

Feather with Anne DixonAnother fascinating discovery was that Atkins’s best friend was Anna Dixon, the orphaned daughter of a friend of her father, who lived for a time at the Children’s estate. Atkins and Dixon later collaborated on a photographic book exploring plants and feathers, which also won accolades. At the exhibit I learned that Dixon was Jane Austen’s second cousin! Again, what a small world!

WellingtonAnd lastly, another connection that delighted me was a drawing Anna made during a trip to Europe with her father. They visited the battlefield of Waterloo several years after the epic event, and she sketched the “Wellington Elm”—which was said to be where Wellington and his generals gathered to watch the battle unfold. (It’s now in the Queen of England’s collection.) My latest Lady Arianna mystery revolves around the battle, and seeing the drawing, which I had never heard about, was very exciting, and reminded me yet again of all the fascinating ways history interweaves and connects things on so many different levels.

So that’s my admittedly rambling musings for the day. Do you enjoy seeing library and museum exhibits as much as I do? Do you ever find yourself surprised or delighted by little discoveries? And lastly what do you think of Atkins’s photos?

105 thoughts on “Rhapsody in Blue—science and art!”

  1. One of the delights of winter for me is observing tall deciduous trees against a bright sky. Without leaves the underlying fractal geometry of the branches and twigs is exposed. The interplay of symmetry and randomness never fails to delight the eye.
    Fractal structure is very common in nature and is apparent in the images created by Atkins. I’m not entirely sure why these structures appear beautiful but think it has something to do with our evolutionary history surrounded by plants.
    Andrea, you comment on the close knit nature of the early science community and I think that’s one of the things I most envy. It must have been so exciting to be able to keep abreast of the latest advances in all of science and even contribute to a range of subjects. Such a contrast to modern science with its increased specialization.
    I like the images displayed by Atkins and do occasionally visit art exhibitions, especially those with art used to explore aspects of nature. On the use of photography in science I remember being especially excited by early photos of bubble chamber tracks showing colliding elementary particles and the tracks of cosmic rays produced in photographic emulsion. The techniques made sub-atomic particles visible to the eye demonstrating that they really exist and are more than theoretical constructs!
    Thanks for making me aware of Anna Atkins and her work.
    😊

    Reply
  2. One of the delights of winter for me is observing tall deciduous trees against a bright sky. Without leaves the underlying fractal geometry of the branches and twigs is exposed. The interplay of symmetry and randomness never fails to delight the eye.
    Fractal structure is very common in nature and is apparent in the images created by Atkins. I’m not entirely sure why these structures appear beautiful but think it has something to do with our evolutionary history surrounded by plants.
    Andrea, you comment on the close knit nature of the early science community and I think that’s one of the things I most envy. It must have been so exciting to be able to keep abreast of the latest advances in all of science and even contribute to a range of subjects. Such a contrast to modern science with its increased specialization.
    I like the images displayed by Atkins and do occasionally visit art exhibitions, especially those with art used to explore aspects of nature. On the use of photography in science I remember being especially excited by early photos of bubble chamber tracks showing colliding elementary particles and the tracks of cosmic rays produced in photographic emulsion. The techniques made sub-atomic particles visible to the eye demonstrating that they really exist and are more than theoretical constructs!
    Thanks for making me aware of Anna Atkins and her work.
    😊

    Reply
  3. One of the delights of winter for me is observing tall deciduous trees against a bright sky. Without leaves the underlying fractal geometry of the branches and twigs is exposed. The interplay of symmetry and randomness never fails to delight the eye.
    Fractal structure is very common in nature and is apparent in the images created by Atkins. I’m not entirely sure why these structures appear beautiful but think it has something to do with our evolutionary history surrounded by plants.
    Andrea, you comment on the close knit nature of the early science community and I think that’s one of the things I most envy. It must have been so exciting to be able to keep abreast of the latest advances in all of science and even contribute to a range of subjects. Such a contrast to modern science with its increased specialization.
    I like the images displayed by Atkins and do occasionally visit art exhibitions, especially those with art used to explore aspects of nature. On the use of photography in science I remember being especially excited by early photos of bubble chamber tracks showing colliding elementary particles and the tracks of cosmic rays produced in photographic emulsion. The techniques made sub-atomic particles visible to the eye demonstrating that they really exist and are more than theoretical constructs!
    Thanks for making me aware of Anna Atkins and her work.
    😊

    Reply
  4. One of the delights of winter for me is observing tall deciduous trees against a bright sky. Without leaves the underlying fractal geometry of the branches and twigs is exposed. The interplay of symmetry and randomness never fails to delight the eye.
    Fractal structure is very common in nature and is apparent in the images created by Atkins. I’m not entirely sure why these structures appear beautiful but think it has something to do with our evolutionary history surrounded by plants.
    Andrea, you comment on the close knit nature of the early science community and I think that’s one of the things I most envy. It must have been so exciting to be able to keep abreast of the latest advances in all of science and even contribute to a range of subjects. Such a contrast to modern science with its increased specialization.
    I like the images displayed by Atkins and do occasionally visit art exhibitions, especially those with art used to explore aspects of nature. On the use of photography in science I remember being especially excited by early photos of bubble chamber tracks showing colliding elementary particles and the tracks of cosmic rays produced in photographic emulsion. The techniques made sub-atomic particles visible to the eye demonstrating that they really exist and are more than theoretical constructs!
    Thanks for making me aware of Anna Atkins and her work.
    😊

    Reply
  5. One of the delights of winter for me is observing tall deciduous trees against a bright sky. Without leaves the underlying fractal geometry of the branches and twigs is exposed. The interplay of symmetry and randomness never fails to delight the eye.
    Fractal structure is very common in nature and is apparent in the images created by Atkins. I’m not entirely sure why these structures appear beautiful but think it has something to do with our evolutionary history surrounded by plants.
    Andrea, you comment on the close knit nature of the early science community and I think that’s one of the things I most envy. It must have been so exciting to be able to keep abreast of the latest advances in all of science and even contribute to a range of subjects. Such a contrast to modern science with its increased specialization.
    I like the images displayed by Atkins and do occasionally visit art exhibitions, especially those with art used to explore aspects of nature. On the use of photography in science I remember being especially excited by early photos of bubble chamber tracks showing colliding elementary particles and the tracks of cosmic rays produced in photographic emulsion. The techniques made sub-atomic particles visible to the eye demonstrating that they really exist and are more than theoretical constructs!
    Thanks for making me aware of Anna Atkins and her work.
    😊

    Reply
  6. What an interesting post. You wenches come up with such interesting subjects. I had never heard of this (cyanotype) procedure. The photos that you have included are beautiful.
    I have always enjoyed visiting exhibits. I’m not able to do it much anymore and I do miss it. I especially miss visiting my library. Even more than any exhibits they may have, I just miss being able to stroll up and down the aisles choosing random books to scan. I visit my library on line now – but, it’s just not the same.

    Reply
  7. What an interesting post. You wenches come up with such interesting subjects. I had never heard of this (cyanotype) procedure. The photos that you have included are beautiful.
    I have always enjoyed visiting exhibits. I’m not able to do it much anymore and I do miss it. I especially miss visiting my library. Even more than any exhibits they may have, I just miss being able to stroll up and down the aisles choosing random books to scan. I visit my library on line now – but, it’s just not the same.

    Reply
  8. What an interesting post. You wenches come up with such interesting subjects. I had never heard of this (cyanotype) procedure. The photos that you have included are beautiful.
    I have always enjoyed visiting exhibits. I’m not able to do it much anymore and I do miss it. I especially miss visiting my library. Even more than any exhibits they may have, I just miss being able to stroll up and down the aisles choosing random books to scan. I visit my library on line now – but, it’s just not the same.

    Reply
  9. What an interesting post. You wenches come up with such interesting subjects. I had never heard of this (cyanotype) procedure. The photos that you have included are beautiful.
    I have always enjoyed visiting exhibits. I’m not able to do it much anymore and I do miss it. I especially miss visiting my library. Even more than any exhibits they may have, I just miss being able to stroll up and down the aisles choosing random books to scan. I visit my library on line now – but, it’s just not the same.

    Reply
  10. What an interesting post. You wenches come up with such interesting subjects. I had never heard of this (cyanotype) procedure. The photos that you have included are beautiful.
    I have always enjoyed visiting exhibits. I’m not able to do it much anymore and I do miss it. I especially miss visiting my library. Even more than any exhibits they may have, I just miss being able to stroll up and down the aisles choosing random books to scan. I visit my library on line now – but, it’s just not the same.

    Reply
  11. What a fascinating observation, Quantum! It makes sense that we are somehow biologically programmed to see beauty in certain things, and your conjecture is so intriguing.
    The early scientific community really must have been exciting. So much cross-pollinization, which in turn sparks creativity.
    Love your description of the sub-atomic particles. I can imagine that was very exciting for physicists to actually see what was happening!

    Reply
  12. What a fascinating observation, Quantum! It makes sense that we are somehow biologically programmed to see beauty in certain things, and your conjecture is so intriguing.
    The early scientific community really must have been exciting. So much cross-pollinization, which in turn sparks creativity.
    Love your description of the sub-atomic particles. I can imagine that was very exciting for physicists to actually see what was happening!

    Reply
  13. What a fascinating observation, Quantum! It makes sense that we are somehow biologically programmed to see beauty in certain things, and your conjecture is so intriguing.
    The early scientific community really must have been exciting. So much cross-pollinization, which in turn sparks creativity.
    Love your description of the sub-atomic particles. I can imagine that was very exciting for physicists to actually see what was happening!

    Reply
  14. What a fascinating observation, Quantum! It makes sense that we are somehow biologically programmed to see beauty in certain things, and your conjecture is so intriguing.
    The early scientific community really must have been exciting. So much cross-pollinization, which in turn sparks creativity.
    Love your description of the sub-atomic particles. I can imagine that was very exciting for physicists to actually see what was happening!

    Reply
  15. What a fascinating observation, Quantum! It makes sense that we are somehow biologically programmed to see beauty in certain things, and your conjecture is so intriguing.
    The early scientific community really must have been exciting. So much cross-pollinization, which in turn sparks creativity.
    Love your description of the sub-atomic particles. I can imagine that was very exciting for physicists to actually see what was happening!

    Reply
  16. So glad you enjoy our esoteric ramblings, Mary.
    I hear you on the actual physical browsing of books. I miss really good bookstores. I used to discover so many great things on the “new releases” tables, especially in non-fiction history. It’s so hard to browse online when you’re not looking for something specific, but just want a fun discovery. Sigh.

    Reply
  17. So glad you enjoy our esoteric ramblings, Mary.
    I hear you on the actual physical browsing of books. I miss really good bookstores. I used to discover so many great things on the “new releases” tables, especially in non-fiction history. It’s so hard to browse online when you’re not looking for something specific, but just want a fun discovery. Sigh.

    Reply
  18. So glad you enjoy our esoteric ramblings, Mary.
    I hear you on the actual physical browsing of books. I miss really good bookstores. I used to discover so many great things on the “new releases” tables, especially in non-fiction history. It’s so hard to browse online when you’re not looking for something specific, but just want a fun discovery. Sigh.

    Reply
  19. So glad you enjoy our esoteric ramblings, Mary.
    I hear you on the actual physical browsing of books. I miss really good bookstores. I used to discover so many great things on the “new releases” tables, especially in non-fiction history. It’s so hard to browse online when you’re not looking for something specific, but just want a fun discovery. Sigh.

    Reply
  20. So glad you enjoy our esoteric ramblings, Mary.
    I hear you on the actual physical browsing of books. I miss really good bookstores. I used to discover so many great things on the “new releases” tables, especially in non-fiction history. It’s so hard to browse online when you’re not looking for something specific, but just want a fun discovery. Sigh.

    Reply
  21. I’ve made cyanotypes with my grandchildren. Lots of fun, even if the results were mediocre, at best. These photographs are beautiful and so full of detail.
    There are so many people we do not know, who have fascinating stories. I love hearing about them. They connect me to the past, and help me rejoice in the human spirit. The close knit scientific communities must have been helpful, but I imagine that there must have been individuals who were isolated and perservered without support. I wonder how many made discoveries and never got credit for it. It must have been lonely.
    I like smaller exhibits like this one, that focus on an individual, or one aspect of a larger topic, that lets me delve into the subject without feeling overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing this and I eagerly await the next Wrexford & Sloane mystery.

    Reply
  22. I’ve made cyanotypes with my grandchildren. Lots of fun, even if the results were mediocre, at best. These photographs are beautiful and so full of detail.
    There are so many people we do not know, who have fascinating stories. I love hearing about them. They connect me to the past, and help me rejoice in the human spirit. The close knit scientific communities must have been helpful, but I imagine that there must have been individuals who were isolated and perservered without support. I wonder how many made discoveries and never got credit for it. It must have been lonely.
    I like smaller exhibits like this one, that focus on an individual, or one aspect of a larger topic, that lets me delve into the subject without feeling overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing this and I eagerly await the next Wrexford & Sloane mystery.

    Reply
  23. I’ve made cyanotypes with my grandchildren. Lots of fun, even if the results were mediocre, at best. These photographs are beautiful and so full of detail.
    There are so many people we do not know, who have fascinating stories. I love hearing about them. They connect me to the past, and help me rejoice in the human spirit. The close knit scientific communities must have been helpful, but I imagine that there must have been individuals who were isolated and perservered without support. I wonder how many made discoveries and never got credit for it. It must have been lonely.
    I like smaller exhibits like this one, that focus on an individual, or one aspect of a larger topic, that lets me delve into the subject without feeling overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing this and I eagerly await the next Wrexford & Sloane mystery.

    Reply
  24. I’ve made cyanotypes with my grandchildren. Lots of fun, even if the results were mediocre, at best. These photographs are beautiful and so full of detail.
    There are so many people we do not know, who have fascinating stories. I love hearing about them. They connect me to the past, and help me rejoice in the human spirit. The close knit scientific communities must have been helpful, but I imagine that there must have been individuals who were isolated and perservered without support. I wonder how many made discoveries and never got credit for it. It must have been lonely.
    I like smaller exhibits like this one, that focus on an individual, or one aspect of a larger topic, that lets me delve into the subject without feeling overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing this and I eagerly await the next Wrexford & Sloane mystery.

    Reply
  25. I’ve made cyanotypes with my grandchildren. Lots of fun, even if the results were mediocre, at best. These photographs are beautiful and so full of detail.
    There are so many people we do not know, who have fascinating stories. I love hearing about them. They connect me to the past, and help me rejoice in the human spirit. The close knit scientific communities must have been helpful, but I imagine that there must have been individuals who were isolated and perservered without support. I wonder how many made discoveries and never got credit for it. It must have been lonely.
    I like smaller exhibits like this one, that focus on an individual, or one aspect of a larger topic, that lets me delve into the subject without feeling overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing this and I eagerly await the next Wrexford & Sloane mystery.

    Reply
  26. How, how fun that you’ve cyanotypes! I’d love to try them, if only for the beautiful blue color!
    So true about all the extraordinary people of whom we’ve never heard. I think you’re right that many of them likely explored with only their own imagination to guide them, and likely made many discoveries that we’ve never heard about. It must have been even more lonely if you were told that you weren’t supposed to be interested in a certain subject. It took courage. And as you say, that’s a testament to the human spirit.
    I really love small exhibits too, because they let you delve into a snippet of history, and I always end learning something I find fascinating.
    So glad you are enjoying Wrexford and Sloane!

    Reply
  27. How, how fun that you’ve cyanotypes! I’d love to try them, if only for the beautiful blue color!
    So true about all the extraordinary people of whom we’ve never heard. I think you’re right that many of them likely explored with only their own imagination to guide them, and likely made many discoveries that we’ve never heard about. It must have been even more lonely if you were told that you weren’t supposed to be interested in a certain subject. It took courage. And as you say, that’s a testament to the human spirit.
    I really love small exhibits too, because they let you delve into a snippet of history, and I always end learning something I find fascinating.
    So glad you are enjoying Wrexford and Sloane!

    Reply
  28. How, how fun that you’ve cyanotypes! I’d love to try them, if only for the beautiful blue color!
    So true about all the extraordinary people of whom we’ve never heard. I think you’re right that many of them likely explored with only their own imagination to guide them, and likely made many discoveries that we’ve never heard about. It must have been even more lonely if you were told that you weren’t supposed to be interested in a certain subject. It took courage. And as you say, that’s a testament to the human spirit.
    I really love small exhibits too, because they let you delve into a snippet of history, and I always end learning something I find fascinating.
    So glad you are enjoying Wrexford and Sloane!

    Reply
  29. How, how fun that you’ve cyanotypes! I’d love to try them, if only for the beautiful blue color!
    So true about all the extraordinary people of whom we’ve never heard. I think you’re right that many of them likely explored with only their own imagination to guide them, and likely made many discoveries that we’ve never heard about. It must have been even more lonely if you were told that you weren’t supposed to be interested in a certain subject. It took courage. And as you say, that’s a testament to the human spirit.
    I really love small exhibits too, because they let you delve into a snippet of history, and I always end learning something I find fascinating.
    So glad you are enjoying Wrexford and Sloane!

    Reply
  30. How, how fun that you’ve cyanotypes! I’d love to try them, if only for the beautiful blue color!
    So true about all the extraordinary people of whom we’ve never heard. I think you’re right that many of them likely explored with only their own imagination to guide them, and likely made many discoveries that we’ve never heard about. It must have been even more lonely if you were told that you weren’t supposed to be interested in a certain subject. It took courage. And as you say, that’s a testament to the human spirit.
    I really love small exhibits too, because they let you delve into a snippet of history, and I always end learning something I find fascinating.
    So glad you are enjoying Wrexford and Sloane!

    Reply
  31. Fascinating! I do enjoy museums and such but haven’t gotten to go to anything of the sort in ages. I need to get back to it. One of my biggest problems with “artwork” displays in general is that I’m very tactile; I like things I can touch, and that’s generally frowned upon in historical displays! But I do know there are some for kids and I need to check them out one of these days. I also love someone who knows how to weave a story with one, as you did above. Oh, and yes, I took a photography class in high school and we did cyanotypes and that sort of thing. It’s fascinating what can be produced!

    Reply
  32. Fascinating! I do enjoy museums and such but haven’t gotten to go to anything of the sort in ages. I need to get back to it. One of my biggest problems with “artwork” displays in general is that I’m very tactile; I like things I can touch, and that’s generally frowned upon in historical displays! But I do know there are some for kids and I need to check them out one of these days. I also love someone who knows how to weave a story with one, as you did above. Oh, and yes, I took a photography class in high school and we did cyanotypes and that sort of thing. It’s fascinating what can be produced!

    Reply
  33. Fascinating! I do enjoy museums and such but haven’t gotten to go to anything of the sort in ages. I need to get back to it. One of my biggest problems with “artwork” displays in general is that I’m very tactile; I like things I can touch, and that’s generally frowned upon in historical displays! But I do know there are some for kids and I need to check them out one of these days. I also love someone who knows how to weave a story with one, as you did above. Oh, and yes, I took a photography class in high school and we did cyanotypes and that sort of thing. It’s fascinating what can be produced!

    Reply
  34. Fascinating! I do enjoy museums and such but haven’t gotten to go to anything of the sort in ages. I need to get back to it. One of my biggest problems with “artwork” displays in general is that I’m very tactile; I like things I can touch, and that’s generally frowned upon in historical displays! But I do know there are some for kids and I need to check them out one of these days. I also love someone who knows how to weave a story with one, as you did above. Oh, and yes, I took a photography class in high school and we did cyanotypes and that sort of thing. It’s fascinating what can be produced!

    Reply
  35. Fascinating! I do enjoy museums and such but haven’t gotten to go to anything of the sort in ages. I need to get back to it. One of my biggest problems with “artwork” displays in general is that I’m very tactile; I like things I can touch, and that’s generally frowned upon in historical displays! But I do know there are some for kids and I need to check them out one of these days. I also love someone who knows how to weave a story with one, as you did above. Oh, and yes, I took a photography class in high school and we did cyanotypes and that sort of thing. It’s fascinating what can be produced!

    Reply
  36. What a fascinating post, Andrea; thanks for sharing your findings with us. I do like a good museum exhibit and also a good bookstore — both can lead to some wonderful discoveries.

    Reply
  37. What a fascinating post, Andrea; thanks for sharing your findings with us. I do like a good museum exhibit and also a good bookstore — both can lead to some wonderful discoveries.

    Reply
  38. What a fascinating post, Andrea; thanks for sharing your findings with us. I do like a good museum exhibit and also a good bookstore — both can lead to some wonderful discoveries.

    Reply
  39. What a fascinating post, Andrea; thanks for sharing your findings with us. I do like a good museum exhibit and also a good bookstore — both can lead to some wonderful discoveries.

    Reply
  40. What a fascinating post, Andrea; thanks for sharing your findings with us. I do like a good museum exhibit and also a good bookstore — both can lead to some wonderful discoveries.

    Reply
  41. Shauna, how fun that you’ve done xyanotypes. In art school we played around with running some of our design through the architecture school’s blueprint machine, but that’s as close as I got to cyanotypes. I would love to try the old fashioned way.
    Touching art or artifacts makes an impact, which is why object-based learning really engages students. And more and more museums are setting up exhibits that allow touching.

    Reply
  42. Shauna, how fun that you’ve done xyanotypes. In art school we played around with running some of our design through the architecture school’s blueprint machine, but that’s as close as I got to cyanotypes. I would love to try the old fashioned way.
    Touching art or artifacts makes an impact, which is why object-based learning really engages students. And more and more museums are setting up exhibits that allow touching.

    Reply
  43. Shauna, how fun that you’ve done xyanotypes. In art school we played around with running some of our design through the architecture school’s blueprint machine, but that’s as close as I got to cyanotypes. I would love to try the old fashioned way.
    Touching art or artifacts makes an impact, which is why object-based learning really engages students. And more and more museums are setting up exhibits that allow touching.

    Reply
  44. Shauna, how fun that you’ve done xyanotypes. In art school we played around with running some of our design through the architecture school’s blueprint machine, but that’s as close as I got to cyanotypes. I would love to try the old fashioned way.
    Touching art or artifacts makes an impact, which is why object-based learning really engages students. And more and more museums are setting up exhibits that allow touching.

    Reply
  45. Shauna, how fun that you’ve done xyanotypes. In art school we played around with running some of our design through the architecture school’s blueprint machine, but that’s as close as I got to cyanotypes. I would love to try the old fashioned way.
    Touching art or artifacts makes an impact, which is why object-based learning really engages students. And more and more museums are setting up exhibits that allow touching.

    Reply
  46. I haven’t visited a museum since the Pixar exhibit was in town. I like learning esoteric details but the exhibits themselves are sometimes a bit stifling for me. Thanks for the fascinating tidbits!

    Reply
  47. I haven’t visited a museum since the Pixar exhibit was in town. I like learning esoteric details but the exhibits themselves are sometimes a bit stifling for me. Thanks for the fascinating tidbits!

    Reply
  48. I haven’t visited a museum since the Pixar exhibit was in town. I like learning esoteric details but the exhibits themselves are sometimes a bit stifling for me. Thanks for the fascinating tidbits!

    Reply
  49. I haven’t visited a museum since the Pixar exhibit was in town. I like learning esoteric details but the exhibits themselves are sometimes a bit stifling for me. Thanks for the fascinating tidbits!

    Reply
  50. I haven’t visited a museum since the Pixar exhibit was in town. I like learning esoteric details but the exhibits themselves are sometimes a bit stifling for me. Thanks for the fascinating tidbits!

    Reply
  51. I remember doing the cyanotypes with the kids. The kit came with some photo reactive paper. We did lots of objects besides leaves. Lots of fun.

    Reply
  52. I remember doing the cyanotypes with the kids. The kit came with some photo reactive paper. We did lots of objects besides leaves. Lots of fun.

    Reply
  53. I remember doing the cyanotypes with the kids. The kit came with some photo reactive paper. We did lots of objects besides leaves. Lots of fun.

    Reply
  54. I remember doing the cyanotypes with the kids. The kit came with some photo reactive paper. We did lots of objects besides leaves. Lots of fun.

    Reply
  55. I remember doing the cyanotypes with the kids. The kit came with some photo reactive paper. We did lots of objects besides leaves. Lots of fun.

    Reply
  56. I love museums and art exhibits. Yesterday, I was dusting my tiny hippo figure from the King Tut exhibition which traveled around the US many years ago. They would not allow me to bring home the large and lovely sarcophagus.
    There have been science and art in museums which have taken away my breath.
    I want to thank you for the introduction to such a brilliant and talented woman. And yes, at times it is amazing how small the world can be.
    I have a theory which does not apply to all children, but at times it is right on the money. If a child grows up in a family of trapeze artists, they assume everyone’s family hangs upside down from the ceiling. And if a child grows up in the home of a scientist, then they believe exploring theories is the only way to live your life. Anna was obviously one of the latter.
    Aren’t we fortunate that this woman had such wonderful ideas? And she was able to share them with the world.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  57. I love museums and art exhibits. Yesterday, I was dusting my tiny hippo figure from the King Tut exhibition which traveled around the US many years ago. They would not allow me to bring home the large and lovely sarcophagus.
    There have been science and art in museums which have taken away my breath.
    I want to thank you for the introduction to such a brilliant and talented woman. And yes, at times it is amazing how small the world can be.
    I have a theory which does not apply to all children, but at times it is right on the money. If a child grows up in a family of trapeze artists, they assume everyone’s family hangs upside down from the ceiling. And if a child grows up in the home of a scientist, then they believe exploring theories is the only way to live your life. Anna was obviously one of the latter.
    Aren’t we fortunate that this woman had such wonderful ideas? And she was able to share them with the world.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  58. I love museums and art exhibits. Yesterday, I was dusting my tiny hippo figure from the King Tut exhibition which traveled around the US many years ago. They would not allow me to bring home the large and lovely sarcophagus.
    There have been science and art in museums which have taken away my breath.
    I want to thank you for the introduction to such a brilliant and talented woman. And yes, at times it is amazing how small the world can be.
    I have a theory which does not apply to all children, but at times it is right on the money. If a child grows up in a family of trapeze artists, they assume everyone’s family hangs upside down from the ceiling. And if a child grows up in the home of a scientist, then they believe exploring theories is the only way to live your life. Anna was obviously one of the latter.
    Aren’t we fortunate that this woman had such wonderful ideas? And she was able to share them with the world.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  59. I love museums and art exhibits. Yesterday, I was dusting my tiny hippo figure from the King Tut exhibition which traveled around the US many years ago. They would not allow me to bring home the large and lovely sarcophagus.
    There have been science and art in museums which have taken away my breath.
    I want to thank you for the introduction to such a brilliant and talented woman. And yes, at times it is amazing how small the world can be.
    I have a theory which does not apply to all children, but at times it is right on the money. If a child grows up in a family of trapeze artists, they assume everyone’s family hangs upside down from the ceiling. And if a child grows up in the home of a scientist, then they believe exploring theories is the only way to live your life. Anna was obviously one of the latter.
    Aren’t we fortunate that this woman had such wonderful ideas? And she was able to share them with the world.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  60. I love museums and art exhibits. Yesterday, I was dusting my tiny hippo figure from the King Tut exhibition which traveled around the US many years ago. They would not allow me to bring home the large and lovely sarcophagus.
    There have been science and art in museums which have taken away my breath.
    I want to thank you for the introduction to such a brilliant and talented woman. And yes, at times it is amazing how small the world can be.
    I have a theory which does not apply to all children, but at times it is right on the money. If a child grows up in a family of trapeze artists, they assume everyone’s family hangs upside down from the ceiling. And if a child grows up in the home of a scientist, then they believe exploring theories is the only way to live your life. Anna was obviously one of the latter.
    Aren’t we fortunate that this woman had such wonderful ideas? And she was able to share them with the world.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  61. Annette, so glad you enjoyed meeting Anna. She was an amazingly talented artist as well—her drawings are amazing. I think one the reasons her cyanotypes are so remarkable is her artistic eye, and how she arranged the algae on the paper.
    And I’m so glad she was finally rediscovered and given the accolades she deserves. A real pioneer in science.
    And I think your theory on children has a lot of merit. What you see around you when you are young can be a great influence.

    Reply
  62. Annette, so glad you enjoyed meeting Anna. She was an amazingly talented artist as well—her drawings are amazing. I think one the reasons her cyanotypes are so remarkable is her artistic eye, and how she arranged the algae on the paper.
    And I’m so glad she was finally rediscovered and given the accolades she deserves. A real pioneer in science.
    And I think your theory on children has a lot of merit. What you see around you when you are young can be a great influence.

    Reply
  63. Annette, so glad you enjoyed meeting Anna. She was an amazingly talented artist as well—her drawings are amazing. I think one the reasons her cyanotypes are so remarkable is her artistic eye, and how she arranged the algae on the paper.
    And I’m so glad she was finally rediscovered and given the accolades she deserves. A real pioneer in science.
    And I think your theory on children has a lot of merit. What you see around you when you are young can be a great influence.

    Reply
  64. Annette, so glad you enjoyed meeting Anna. She was an amazingly talented artist as well—her drawings are amazing. I think one the reasons her cyanotypes are so remarkable is her artistic eye, and how she arranged the algae on the paper.
    And I’m so glad she was finally rediscovered and given the accolades she deserves. A real pioneer in science.
    And I think your theory on children has a lot of merit. What you see around you when you are young can be a great influence.

    Reply
  65. Annette, so glad you enjoyed meeting Anna. She was an amazingly talented artist as well—her drawings are amazing. I think one the reasons her cyanotypes are so remarkable is her artistic eye, and how she arranged the algae on the paper.
    And I’m so glad she was finally rediscovered and given the accolades she deserves. A real pioneer in science.
    And I think your theory on children has a lot of merit. What you see around you when you are young can be a great influence.

    Reply
  66. Concerning touching: aBout 50 years ago a traveling Van Gogh exhibit came to the St. Louis Art Museum. I made my children clasp their hands behind their backs and I did the same!His textures DEMAND to be touched.
    I have since decided that students who copy his technique as a learning process should cut up their practice pieces. The cut-up pieces could be mounted on the museum wall, below the real are— Labeled “TOUCH HERE.”

    Reply
  67. Concerning touching: aBout 50 years ago a traveling Van Gogh exhibit came to the St. Louis Art Museum. I made my children clasp their hands behind their backs and I did the same!His textures DEMAND to be touched.
    I have since decided that students who copy his technique as a learning process should cut up their practice pieces. The cut-up pieces could be mounted on the museum wall, below the real are— Labeled “TOUCH HERE.”

    Reply
  68. Concerning touching: aBout 50 years ago a traveling Van Gogh exhibit came to the St. Louis Art Museum. I made my children clasp their hands behind their backs and I did the same!His textures DEMAND to be touched.
    I have since decided that students who copy his technique as a learning process should cut up their practice pieces. The cut-up pieces could be mounted on the museum wall, below the real are— Labeled “TOUCH HERE.”

    Reply
  69. Concerning touching: aBout 50 years ago a traveling Van Gogh exhibit came to the St. Louis Art Museum. I made my children clasp their hands behind their backs and I did the same!His textures DEMAND to be touched.
    I have since decided that students who copy his technique as a learning process should cut up their practice pieces. The cut-up pieces could be mounted on the museum wall, below the real are— Labeled “TOUCH HERE.”

    Reply
  70. Concerning touching: aBout 50 years ago a traveling Van Gogh exhibit came to the St. Louis Art Museum. I made my children clasp their hands behind their backs and I did the same!His textures DEMAND to be touched.
    I have since decided that students who copy his technique as a learning process should cut up their practice pieces. The cut-up pieces could be mounted on the museum wall, below the real are— Labeled “TOUCH HERE.”

    Reply
  71. I’m probably a result of Annette’s theory; I grew up in a family of teachers. And my parents social set were largely teachers also. I didn’t grew thinking that everyone taught. The far more useful idea was that everyone learned.
    With three colleges in town we get many exhibits, lectures, and so on. Unfortunately, our getting older has mad it harder and harder to attend these affairs.

    Reply
  72. I’m probably a result of Annette’s theory; I grew up in a family of teachers. And my parents social set were largely teachers also. I didn’t grew thinking that everyone taught. The far more useful idea was that everyone learned.
    With three colleges in town we get many exhibits, lectures, and so on. Unfortunately, our getting older has mad it harder and harder to attend these affairs.

    Reply
  73. I’m probably a result of Annette’s theory; I grew up in a family of teachers. And my parents social set were largely teachers also. I didn’t grew thinking that everyone taught. The far more useful idea was that everyone learned.
    With three colleges in town we get many exhibits, lectures, and so on. Unfortunately, our getting older has mad it harder and harder to attend these affairs.

    Reply
  74. I’m probably a result of Annette’s theory; I grew up in a family of teachers. And my parents social set were largely teachers also. I didn’t grew thinking that everyone taught. The far more useful idea was that everyone learned.
    With three colleges in town we get many exhibits, lectures, and so on. Unfortunately, our getting older has mad it harder and harder to attend these affairs.

    Reply
  75. I’m probably a result of Annette’s theory; I grew up in a family of teachers. And my parents social set were largely teachers also. I didn’t grew thinking that everyone taught. The far more useful idea was that everyone learned.
    With three colleges in town we get many exhibits, lectures, and so on. Unfortunately, our getting older has mad it harder and harder to attend these affairs.

    Reply
  76. The cyanotype exposures are lovely, especially the fern. I love going to see all types of exhibits, small and large, although I avoid the really crowded blockbuster shows. New York is full of beautiful exhibit spaces in libraries, historic homes, and lesser known museums, so you can see amazing things without even going to the Met or MOMA.

    Reply
  77. The cyanotype exposures are lovely, especially the fern. I love going to see all types of exhibits, small and large, although I avoid the really crowded blockbuster shows. New York is full of beautiful exhibit spaces in libraries, historic homes, and lesser known museums, so you can see amazing things without even going to the Met or MOMA.

    Reply
  78. The cyanotype exposures are lovely, especially the fern. I love going to see all types of exhibits, small and large, although I avoid the really crowded blockbuster shows. New York is full of beautiful exhibit spaces in libraries, historic homes, and lesser known museums, so you can see amazing things without even going to the Met or MOMA.

    Reply
  79. The cyanotype exposures are lovely, especially the fern. I love going to see all types of exhibits, small and large, although I avoid the really crowded blockbuster shows. New York is full of beautiful exhibit spaces in libraries, historic homes, and lesser known museums, so you can see amazing things without even going to the Met or MOMA.

    Reply
  80. The cyanotype exposures are lovely, especially the fern. I love going to see all types of exhibits, small and large, although I avoid the really crowded blockbuster shows. New York is full of beautiful exhibit spaces in libraries, historic homes, and lesser known museums, so you can see amazing things without even going to the Met or MOMA.

    Reply
  81. Sue, I, too, am a product of Sue’s theory. Reading was just something we all did growing up. Books were a treat, and I had to be scolded to turn out the light and go to sleep on a school night! And my mother was an amazing artist, who was always exploring new and experimenting with new media and ideas. We all learned to learn, which is, IMO, one of the most important gifts one can get in life.
    Sorry it’s harder to attend lectures and exhibits, but these days, there are so many really well-done virtual tours of museums, and video or audio lectures from universities that allow you to experience wonderful stimulation in the home.

    Reply
  82. Sue, I, too, am a product of Sue’s theory. Reading was just something we all did growing up. Books were a treat, and I had to be scolded to turn out the light and go to sleep on a school night! And my mother was an amazing artist, who was always exploring new and experimenting with new media and ideas. We all learned to learn, which is, IMO, one of the most important gifts one can get in life.
    Sorry it’s harder to attend lectures and exhibits, but these days, there are so many really well-done virtual tours of museums, and video or audio lectures from universities that allow you to experience wonderful stimulation in the home.

    Reply
  83. Sue, I, too, am a product of Sue’s theory. Reading was just something we all did growing up. Books were a treat, and I had to be scolded to turn out the light and go to sleep on a school night! And my mother was an amazing artist, who was always exploring new and experimenting with new media and ideas. We all learned to learn, which is, IMO, one of the most important gifts one can get in life.
    Sorry it’s harder to attend lectures and exhibits, but these days, there are so many really well-done virtual tours of museums, and video or audio lectures from universities that allow you to experience wonderful stimulation in the home.

    Reply
  84. Sue, I, too, am a product of Sue’s theory. Reading was just something we all did growing up. Books were a treat, and I had to be scolded to turn out the light and go to sleep on a school night! And my mother was an amazing artist, who was always exploring new and experimenting with new media and ideas. We all learned to learn, which is, IMO, one of the most important gifts one can get in life.
    Sorry it’s harder to attend lectures and exhibits, but these days, there are so many really well-done virtual tours of museums, and video or audio lectures from universities that allow you to experience wonderful stimulation in the home.

    Reply
  85. Sue, I, too, am a product of Sue’s theory. Reading was just something we all did growing up. Books were a treat, and I had to be scolded to turn out the light and go to sleep on a school night! And my mother was an amazing artist, who was always exploring new and experimenting with new media and ideas. We all learned to learn, which is, IMO, one of the most important gifts one can get in life.
    Sorry it’s harder to attend lectures and exhibits, but these days, there are so many really well-done virtual tours of museums, and video or audio lectures from universities that allow you to experience wonderful stimulation in the home.

    Reply

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