19th century marine algae art

In the 19th century, making art from marine algae wasn't an uncommon practice. People made abstract designs, bouquet arrangements, and representational scenes out of marine algae. Lovers of this craft often used the algae on paper to make these scenes as an alternative to paint.

Some of the pieces, such as the last one in the collection of images, use the algae to spell out cursive letters. I love how the algae, even when used to make words or images, doesn't lose its fragile and organic vein-like quality.

I think it's about time that algae art makes a comeback! These pieces are wonderful.

From Instagram:

"The art of arranging marine algae into designs, bouquets, and even intricate little scenes, was surprisingly popular in the 19th century. The particularly fine examples featured here, using doilies as frames, are from an 1848 album presented to Augustus Graham, a member of the first board of directors of the Brooklyn Apprentice's Library, later to become the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences and the Brooklyn Museum. Made by a woman named Eliza A. Jordson, it contains — apart from the specimens of seaweed — an essay on the method of transferring the algae to paper, as well as a poem on the 'flowers of the sea' "