The Library of Congress recently announced the digitization of the Frances Benjamin Johnston lantern slide collection. Johnston (1864-1952) was a photographer and advocate of the garden beautiful movement. In support of this movement, Johnston toured the US and Europe during the 1910s and 1930s, presenting lectures on historic gardens and plant life. To illustrate these lectures, Johnston used her own images. She transfered 1,134 of her black and white photographs to lantern slides which she then hand-tinted so that she could illustrate her popular lectures for garden clubs, museums and horticultural societies in color. Johnston’s photographs depict more than 200 sites — primarily private gardens but also horticultural shows, a public library and museum, and several parks. The slides focus on the American East, West, and South but also include some images in Italy, France, and England.
For more on Johnston, her lectures and lantern slides, visit the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection page at the Library of Congress.