In the early decades of the twentieth century, before color film became readily available, photographers generated glass negatives with a light-sensitive emulsion. Many of these glass lantern slides were hand painted by specialists who may have never seen the roses they were bringing to life (check out the Syracuse University Archives' site for more on the history of glass lantern slides).
Rose aficionados can’t help but notice some of the impossibly bright hues that the studio painters selected for these images from the McFarland Collection. Enlarged versions of these and other rose images can be seen in a Smithsonian Gardens outdoor exhibit entitled J. Horace McFarland: Mr. Rose. McFarland was certainly “Mr. Rose,” as two roses have been named in his honor: Editor McFarland (1931) and Horace McFarland (1944). He was also the president of the American Rose Society from 1930-1932. This exhibit is located in the Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden in front of the Arts and Industries Building. The beautiful roses in the Folger Rose Garden will provide the exhibit with a handsome backdrop all summer.
Archives of American Gardens