He took his pictures in an era when gardens were known for their waves of colour – for the contrasting shades of their rock gardens and the vibrant hues of their herbaceous borders. Yet the Edwardian garden was seldom captured in colour photography at the time.
Van Sommer’s beautiful ‘autochrome’ pictures provide a rare glimpse of the colours of these gardens of the past. Read on to discover some of the earliest colour images of the great outdoors including the first known colour photographs of RHS Wisley.
Read more about him and see his autochromes here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/digital-collections/william-van-sommer
If anyone has more information about Van Sommer and his photography feel free to contact Sarah McDonald, Heritage Collections Manager at the RHS.
The exhibition has been created by RHS Lindley Library. Based at the Royal Horticultural Society’s headquarters at Vincent Square in London, the Lindley Library holds a world-class collection of horticultural books, journals and botanical art.