Life in gardens: natural light

Marilyn and Elizabeth, Museum of Photographic Arts

Elizabeth and Marilyn Watson, probably in the Berkeley, California, area, 1921, by Dorothea Lange, via Museum of Photographic Arts Commons on flickr (both photos).

Marilyn and Elizabeth 2, Museum of Photographic ArtsAbove, Marilyn Watson; in both photos, the sisters seem to be under a grape arbor. Below, they are with their mother, May V. Landis Watson, still outdoors, I believe.

Watson family, D. Lange, Museum of Photographic Arts

In 1921, Lange was 26 years old and running her own portrait studio in Berkeley. She had many well-to-do clients, as the Watsons appear to be. Ten years later, she would begin the work that made her famous: capturing the faces of the Great Depression and of the WWII internment of Japanese-Americans.

There’s a little clip from a PBS documentary on Lange here. It shows a number of her early photographs.

Vintage landscape: Lacock Abbey

Lady's Elizabeth's, 1840s, Museum of Photographic Arts“Lady Elisabeth’s Rose Garden, Lacock [Abbey], England,” early 1840s, by William Henry Fox Talbot, via Museum of Photographic Arts Commons on flickr (both photos).

Lady Elizabeth Fox-Strangways Feilding was the photographer’s mother.

Lady's Elizabeth's rose garden, 1840s, Museum of Photographic Arts

Talbot was one of the early fathers of photography.  He developed the paper negative and the process of permanently fixing photos on chemically treated paper.

This is the body of light. . . .

— Ronald Johnson, from “BEAM 30: The Garden

Vintage landscape: Louisville, Kentucky

Colonade, Louisville, Ky, park, Library of CongressColonnade, Central Park, Louisville, Kentucky, between 1900 and 1910, Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The park’s 17 acres were owned by the Dupont family in the 1870s, yet open for public use as “Dupont Square.”  In 1883, the space — temporarily “roofed in” — was used to demonstrate Thomas Edison’s light bulb.

In 1904, the Duponts sold the land to the city, and Frederick Law Olmsted, who was already working in Louisville, designed a large open-air shelter and colonnade for the park’s high point.  The colonnade still exists and is undergoing restoration.