No Cross, No Crown
1874 Anna K. Weaver albumen silver print of a photogram sheet and image: 10 3/8 x 8 1/2 in. (26.3 x 21.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase from the Charles Isaacs Collection made possible in part by the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment 1994.91.284 Not currently on view
No Cross, No Crown combines references to spiritual belief and botany in a photogram, an image made by arranging objects on lightsensitive paper. When Anna K. Weaver created her picture, many accomplished women botanists were struggling in vain to join the nation’s ranks of male professionals. Even the eminent Elizabeth Britton, author of hundreds of botanical articles and founder of two botanical societies, was awarded only an “honorary” curatorship at the New York Botanical Garden, which she also helped to found. In the context of its time, Weaver’s innovative image makes a poignant connection to the plight of those who were challenging the convention that females should devote their talents to cooking, embroidery, and other domestic arts.
The Great American Hall of Wonders, 2011
Allegory - religion - salvation
Object - foliage - fern
photography - photoprint