An Artful Life: The Colored Lantern Slides of Anna Caulfield McKnight

Curated by and prepared by Tori Cox, Imageworks Special Projects Assistant


This exhibit presents an extraordinary portion of the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library's Lantern Slide Collection. The Caulfield McKnight collection includes almost 2,700 slides of historical artworks, architecture, landmarks, landscapes, and homes from around the world. It dates to the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was cultivated by Anna Caulfield McKnight, a native of Grand Rapids. She used the slides to illustrate her exceptional artistic and cultural lectures, which she gave around the U.S. and in Europe.

To fulfill her mission of making the study of art and culture more accessible to the public, McKnight commissioned the coloring of approximately one-third of the slides. This exhibit focuses on these examples, though the entire collection is available online through the AAEL Lantern Slide Collection database.