The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Gardens

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of the Smithsonian’s Flickr page, where they post public domain photos from their archives. This set was compiled from glass lantern slides from 1930, discovered in an old closet at the Garden Club of America in New York City and — eventually — donated to the Smithsonian.

Catherine Shteynberg of the Smithsonian Photography Initiative wrote a great narrative of her encounter with these glass lantern slides — the beauty she saw in their hand-painted details, her sad realization that many of these gardens no longer exist, and the role photography can play in conservation efforts. To read her full essay, Conservation and Chrysanthemums, click here.

  1. House of the Four Winds, Lake Forest, Illinois, 1930, Creator: Lake Forest Garden Club, Mrs. Hugh J. McBirney, Architect: Howard Van Doren Shaw, Landscape Architect: Rose Standish Nichols, Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens
  2. La Toscana, Santa Barbara, California, 1930, Creator: Mrs. Kirk B. Johnson, Kirk B., Landscape Architect: A. E. Hanson, Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens
  3. Morningside, Augusta, Georgia, 1930, Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens
  4. Farm House, Bar Harbor, Maine, 1930, Creator: Mildred Day McCormick, Landscape Architect: Ann Leighton Smith, Beatrix Jones Farrand, Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens
  5. Claremont Manor, Claremont, Virginia, 1930, Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens

Photos: All photos identified as having “no known copyright restrictions” and used under the Smithsonian’s terms of use