The exhibition will consist of vintage photomicrographs of snowflakes, frost, and dew taken by WILSON A. BENTLEY, better known as “Snowflake” Bentley and vintage gold-toned gelatin silver prints of vegetables and flowers by CHARLES JONES.
WILSON A. BENTLEY coined the phrase “No two snowflakes are alike.” He grew up in Jericho, Vermont, and developed a life-long fascination for snow. His parents bought him a camera with a microscope attached with which he discovered how to photograph snowflakes. The process was difficult, made more so by the temporary nature of the subject – many snowflakes melted before BENTLEY could capture their images on film, making the photographs extremely rare. BENTLEY was the subject of a Caldecott Medal-winning book, Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998), and a biography by Duncan C. Blanchard, The Snowflake Man: A Biography of Wilson A. Bentley (McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, 1998). BENTLEY himself published numerous articles about his work in magazines such as National Geographic, Harper’s Monthly, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and The New York Times Magazine, as well as a book, Snow Crystals, later republished as Snowflakes in Photographs (Dover Publications, 2000).
CHARLES JONES was head gardener at Ote Hall, Sussex, England, and his subjects are the fruit, vegetables and flowers he grew on that estate; the photographs date to about 1895 – 1910, and each is unique The works were discovered in 1981, when a trunk of JONES’ photographs came to light at the Bermondsey Market in London. Since then JONES has been the subject of a book by Robert Flynn Johnson and Sean Sexton, Plant Kingdoms: The Photographs of Charles Jones (Smithmark Publishers, New York, 1998), and of museum exhibitions at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California, in 1998, and at Le Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1999.