Closed or Blind Gentian

PhotographerLouise Birt Baynes

CountryUnited States

MediumGelatin Silver


View Additional Information & Tags

Fields, Meadows, Flashlight photograph, Flowers, Foliage, Marginalia, Supports


Image Dimensions: 20.8 x 12.6 cm
Support Dimensions: 29.5 x 20.1 cm

Associated Blog Posts:

For Kim

Associated Highlights:

Louise Birt Baynes: Photographer & Naturalist

Alluding to the Closed Gentian, a flower that never fully opens, inked lines of poetry accompany this photograph, possibly by Baynes, at bottom of support. With attribution by her initials on mount verso, the photo was most likely taken circa 1901-1903, after she had married in 1901 but before a similarly presented example (Golden-Rod) was published in an early issue of the Photo Era in 1904.  The use of artificial illumination is evident in this study, done on location in nature. The dark background in the photograph may be a result of the lighting used or it may have been a portable cloth backdrop or screen used during the exposure. The lines of poetry written in ink:


“It never opened someone said,

The strange, fair, bud was all,

a bright hope only half interpreted,

and shriveling to its fall.”

Closed or Blind Gentian