In 1893, Edwin Hale Lincoln began his studies of wild flowers and by 1902, he had moved with his second wife and son to a house on the Allen estate in Pittsfield, where he continued his study. In 1904, Lincoln began work on his series Wildflowers of New England, part of which is offered here, as well as Orchids of the North Eastern United States Photographed from Nature (1931) and New England Trees (undated).
Lincoln prefered to work exclusively with platinum using an 8 x 10in. view camera. This enabled him to print by direct contact with the negatives without having to crop or enlarge the image, while with the platinum, he was able to obtain the overall effect of softness and subtlety which he desired. The consistency of his vision and the systematically precise way in which the flowers are portrayed against a plain background result in a work of great intensity and modernity pre-dating the studies of the German modernist Karl Blossfeldt by some ten years.
This publication appears to be extremely rare. To date one set of plates in eight volumes of the same date is recorded in the New York Public Library collection and two sets (one unbound and one bound) are in the permanent collection of the Lenox Library. The original glass plate negatives are in the archives of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.