Capturing Seaweed and More with Sunprints - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Capturing Seaweed and More with Sunprints


Thursday, July 13, 2:00-3:30pm

As highlighted in the exhibition Cultures of Seaweed, Anna Atkins (1799-1871) was one of the earliest photographers to capture the magic of seaweed. Not long after photography was invented in 1839, Atkins created what is now known as the first photo book, documenting seaweed specimens flat against sheets of cyanotype paper. Taking her seaweed illustrations as inspiration, this workshop invites participants to create “photographic drawings” of their own.

Participants will use modern sunprints to witness how seaweed was first captured photographically, in a process that uses photography’s simplest materials: light, shadow, and sensitized paper.

Participants are also invited to bring objects of their own to create original designs. They may incorporate dried seaweed shapes (provided), leaves, paper, or other two-dimensional objects to block out light to produce collage-like compositions. This program welcomes playful experimentation and discovery, and will send participants home with original works of art inspired by seaweed’s early artist-botanists.

This workshop, led by Marina Wells, Photography Collection Curatorial Fellow at the Whaling Museum, is part of the Under the Sea: Seaweed & Sea Creatures weekend activities. Appropriate for ages 8+