Collection Data

Alison Rossiter's series "Compendium," consisting of 12 framed compositions of photographic paper, was created especially for NYPL's 2018 exhibition "Anna Atkins Refracted." Upon being invited to respond to her experience of viewing the Spencer Collection's copy of Atkins's book "Photographs of British Algae," Rossiter shifted her well-known practice of drawing out the expressive potential of expired photographic papers to create this series of unique compositions, which are to be considered a single work with 12 parts (a nod to Atkins's book). Although they are different in appearance, there are many parallels between Rossiter's "Compendium" and Atkins's book. Like Atkins, Rossiter painstakingly collected her specimens (in her case, unexposed papers manufactured nearly a century ago--the oldest papers in her extensive collection), drawing out the unique expressive properties of each sheet through a cameraless photographic process. And like Atkins's works, the dates of each sheet of paper in "Compendium" are integral to understanding its underlying structure, and the conceptual relationship of one specimen to another that knits them inextricably together as parts of a whole. In a more expansive sense, however, "Compendium" also speaks poetically to a latent history of photography that can be comprehended and exposed through the materials themselves, thus relating to the core of the Library's Photography Collection, whose strength partly lies in its sheer diversity of materials and processes.
Rossiter, Alison, 1953- (Photographer)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2018
Library locations
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection
Shelf locator: 119PH003
Acquisition: Library Purchase, 2019
Physical Description
Gelatin silver prints
Extent: 12 framed compositions of photographic paper
Type of Resource
Still image
TMS Object Number: 119PH003
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 4a9ca8f0-ed10-0137-e36b-5f73aa3797cf
Show filters Hide filters
12 results found