Historic Gardens of America

Mrs. Eldridge Merick Fowler house, 363 Grove Street, Pasadena, California. (LOC)

Matching the season in the Northern Hemisphere, the Library of Congress has just uploaded a new set of rarely before seen works by American photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952): Gardening in Color.

Fannie, as she was also called, was one of the earliest female photographers in the United States. She traveled the U.S. and Europe to capture the beauty of gardens and homes of wealthy families of the Western world.

"Glenn-Orr," William Meade Orr house, 500 North Vega Street, Alhambra, California. (LOC)  Turtle Bay Gardens, 227-247 East 48 Street and 228-46 East 49 Street, New York, New York (LOC)

Guided by her formal training as a fine artist, Johnston had more than 1,130 of her black-and-white photographs reproduced as lantern slides. She wanted those hand-colored miniatures on glass inspire people who attended her lectures to "green" their own environments by planting gardens—be it a small city backyard or a formal estate.

Laura Stafford Stewart house, 205 West 13th Street, New York, New York. (LOC)

The whole Gardening in Color set features a stunning 459 photos so far, including famous locations like The White House.

This is your chance to contribute to The Commons on Flickr and show how your input and knowledge can help make the curated photo collections even richer. Do you know what these gardens and estates look like today, or if this unidentified house is really in New York? Share your thoughts photos of what you find in the comments. – The Library of Congress looks forward to your feedback.

Photos from The Library of Congress.

Posted by Kay Kremerskothen
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