Lady Hatton

The little-known “Lady Hatton” and her potential activities have to be seen in the context of the “Hatton Fern Album” discovered in the late 1980s, individual pages from which are now held by international museums and private collections. The album consisted of plant cyanotype photograms, original fern specimen and plant imprints. The album has been variously attributed to the ‘circle of Anna Atkins’ and subsequently to “Lady Hatton”, most probably due to its previous owner John Hatton (1882-1972), curator of the Spa at Bath, England, and an amateur botanist. However, the photographic practice attests to photography’s place in scientific study and its execution by educated and ambitious women in upper British society who followed the example of photo pioneer Anna Atkins. In this sense, the name of “Lady Hatton” can also be read as a substitution for the female performance of scientific studies.