Native Plant Trust


Thursday, March 28, 2024

Green Photography: The Contemporary Anthotype

What is an anthotype? Literally a “flower picture,”anthotypes are plant-based images made from the light-sensitive characteristics of plants. Crushed berries, flower petals, and roots yield colorful emulsions which are hand-applied to paper and exposed to the sun to produce unique colored images. Due to its ephemeral and unpredictable nature, the anthotype lacked commercial viability and was largely forgotten after its invention in 1842. Because it is non-toxic, low cost, and magically simple, this obscure but poetic photo-imaging method has been rediscovered and is being revived by eco-minded artists around the world. Safe for children and alchemical in nature, the anthotype will intrigue artists, gardeners, scientists, photographers, printmakers—anyone curious about imaging in and with nature. No previous art or photography experience necessary!

An online PowerPoint presentation, short videos, and resource list will introduce the history and “how to” of the process as well as look at some of the inventive anthotypes being made today. A follow-up hands-on session in the spring will include foraging for plant materials, preparing plant emulsions, coating papers, and exposure methods. Get introduced to anthotypes this winter and try plant-based printing this spring!

Artist Jesseca Ferguson has worked with handmade antiquarian photographic processes since 1990, becoming intrigued with anthotypes in 2019. A resident of an artists’ co-operative building in downtown Boston, she forages for her plant materials at farmers’ markets and flower shops, then exposes her prints on the roof of her building. Her handmade photographs have been published, exhibited, and collected internationally.

Find more of Jesseca’s work at

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Date/time detailsThursday, March 28, 2024, 6 - 7:30 PM
LocationZoom / Online
Program codeART2309
Fee$23 (Members) /$27 (Nonmembers)
InstructorJesseca Ferguson
CertificateElective: Basic or Advanced, Horticulture