• Julia Margaret Cameron

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879), King Lear Alotting His Kingdom to His Three Daughters, 1872, Albumen silver print from glass negative Bequest of Maurice B. Sendak, 2013, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013.159.3).

    Julia Margaret Cameron, Photo Documents of Early Portraiture

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879), The Parting of Lancelot and Guinevere, 1874, Albumen silver print from glass negative, David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1952, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (52.524.3).

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815–-1879), Philip Stanhope Worsley, 1866, Albumen silver print from glass negative, Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2005.100.27).

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879), Christabel, 1866, Albumen silver print from glass negative, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1941, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (41.21.26).

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879), The Mountain Nymph Sweet Liberty, June 1866, Albumen silver print from glass negative, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1941, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (41.21.15).

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879), A Study 1865–66 Albumen silver print from glass negative, Bequest of James David Nelson, in memory of Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr., 1990 The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1990.1074.3).

     

    Metropolitan Museum of Art
    1000 Fifth Avenue
    212-535-7710
    New York
    Julia Margaret Cameron
    August 19, 2013-January 5, 2014

    One of the greatest portraitists in the history of photography, Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) blended an unorthodox technique, a deeply spiritual sensibility, and a Pre-Raphaelite–inflected aesthetic to create a gallery of vivid portraits and a mirror of the Victorian soul.

    Julia Margaret Cameron, on view at Metropolitan Museum of Art, the first New York City museum exhibition devoted to Cameron’s work in nearly a generation and the first ever at the Met.

    The showing of 35 works is drawn entirely from the Metropolitan’s rich collection, including major works from the Rubel Collection acquired in 1997 and the Gilman Collection acquired in 2005.

    When she received her first camera in December 1863 as a Christmas gift from her daughter and son-in-law, Cameron was 48, a mother of six, and a deeply religious, well-read, somewhat eccentric friend of many notable Victorian artists, poets, and thinkers.

    “From the first moment I handled my lens with a tender ardour,” she wrote, “and it has become to me as a living thing, with voice and memory and creative vigour.”

    Condemned by some contemporaries for sloppy craftsmanship, she purposely avoided perfect resolution and minute detail that glass negatives permitted, opting instead for carefully directed light, soft focus, and long exposures that allowed the sitters’ slight movement to register in her pictures, instilling them with a sense of breath and life. 

    The exhibition features masterpieces from each of her three major bodies of work: portraits of men “great thro’ genius” including the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, scientist Sir John Herschel, and philosopher Thomas Carlyle; women “great thro’ love” including relatives, neighbors, and household staff, often titled as literary, historical, or biblical subjects; and staged groupings such as her illustrations for Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, her Annunciation in the style of Perugino, or her depiction of King Lear and his daughters. 

    Julia Margaret Cameron is organized by Malcolm Daniel, Senior Curator in the Department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879),Zoe, Maid of Athens, 1866 Albumen silver print from glass negative, The Rubel Collection, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, and Muriel Kallis Newman Gifts, 1997 The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1997.382.38).

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879),Zoe, Maid of Athens, 1866 Albumen silver print from glass negative, The Rubel Collection, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, and Muriel Kallis Newman Gifts, 1997 The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1997.382.38).

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879),Alfred, Lord Tennyson, July 4, 1866,Albumen silver print from glass negative, The Rubel Collection, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace, Michael and Jane Wilson, and Harry Kahn Gifts, 1997, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1997.382.36).

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879),Sappho, 1865, Albumen silver print from glass negative, The Rubel Collection, Purchase, Jennifer and Joseph Duke and Anonymous Gifts, 1997, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1997.382.39).

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879),Sir John Herschel, April 1867, Albumen silver print from glass negative, The Rubel Collection, Promised Gift of William Rubel The Metropolitan Museum of Art (L.1997.84.6).

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879),Mrs. Herbert Duckworth, 1867, Albumen silver print from glass negative, Gilman Collection, Purchase, Alfred Stieglitz Society Gifts, 2005, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2005.100.26).

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879),Pomona, September 1872, Albumen silver print from glass negative, David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1963, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (63.545).

     

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815-1879), Don Quixote in His Study, William Frederick Lake Price  (British, London 1810-1896 Lee, Kent), Image: 31.9 x 28 cm, Mount: 42.6 x 33.3 cm, Gift of A. Hyatt Mayor, 1969, 69.635.1.

     

     

    Julia Margaret Cameron, Annie Philpot, albumen print from wet collodion negative, 1864. V&A Museum no. PH.214-1969.

    "At the beginning of this year I first took up photography…& set to work alone & unassisted to see what I could do all thro' the severe month of January I felt my way literally in the dark thro’ endless failures, at last came endless successes!"

    — Julia Margaret Cameron letter to Sir John Herschel, 26 February, 1864, Royal Society, London


    Julia Margaret Cameron (England, 1815-1879): Charles Darwin, 1868, Albumen print, 11.25 x 9.5".

    Julia Margaret Cameron: Photographic Illustration The parting of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere, 1874.

    Julia Margaret Cameron (India, 1815-1879), Henry Taylor, 1867, Albumen silver print, 33 x 25 cm, The author Sir Henry Taylor (1800-1886), Collection Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

    Julia Margaret Cameron (India, 1815-1879), The Angel at the Tomb, Mary Ann Hillier, Lady Pollock, 1870, Albumen silver print, 33.9 x 23.9 cm, Mary Ann Hillier (later Mrs. Gilbert, 1847-1936), Collection Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

     

    Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
    Magasin 3, floor 1, elevator 4
    + 46 8 545 680 40
    Stockholm

    Julia Margaret Cameron
    January 26-March 23, 2008

    Julia Margaret Cameron was an early star of photographic history. As part of Victorian England’s cultural elite she devoted herself to the new medium of her time, taking portraits of her friends.

    She captured authors, scientists, artists and their families in dreamlike, allegorical images or intimate portraits. Cameron gained early acclaim as a photographic innovator for her experiments with composition and lighting.

    Cameron (June 11, 1815-January 26, 1879) became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for Arthurian and similar legendary themed pictures.

    Cameron's photographic career was short (about 12 years) and came late in her life. Her work had a huge impact on modern photography, especially her closely cropped portraits which are still mimicked today. Her house, Dimbola Lodge, on the Isle of Wight can still be visited.

    Julia Margaret Cameron, born Julia Margaret Pattle in Calcutta, India, to James Pattle, a British official of the East India Company, and Adeline de l'Etang, a daughter of the French elite, was from a family of beauties, but was considered an ugly duckling among her sisters.

    She was educated in France, but returned to India, and in 1838, married Charles Hay Cameron, a jurist and member of the Law Commission stationed in Calcutta who was 20 years her senior.

    In 1848, Charles Hay Cameron retired and the family moved to London, England. Cameron's sister, Sarah Prinsep, had been living in London and hosted a salon at Little Holland House, the dower house of Holland House in Kensington, where famous artists and writers regularly visited.

    In 1860, Cameron visited the estate of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson on the Isle of Wight. Julia was taken with the location and the Cameron family purchased a property on the island soon after. They called it Dimbola Lodge after the family's Ceylon estate.

    In 1863, at 48 years old, her daughter gave her a camera as a present, thereby starting her career as a photographer. Within a year, Cameron joined the Photographic Societies of London and Scotland. In her photography, she strove to capture beauty. She wrote, "I longed to arrest all the beauty that came before me and at length the longing has been satisfied."

    Her neighbour on the Isle of Wight, Alfred Lord Tennyson, often brought friends to see the photographer.

    Cameron was sometimes obsessive about her new occupation, subjects sitting for countless exposures in the blinding light as she laboriously coated, exposed, and processed each wet plate.

    The results were, in fact, unconventional in their intimacy and their particular visual habit of created blur through both long exposures where the subject moved and by leaving the lens intentionally out of focus. This led some of her contemporaries to complain and even ridicule the work, but her friends and family were supportive and she was one of the most prolific and advanced of amateurs in her time.

    Her enthusiasm for her craft meant that her children and others sometimes tired of her endless photographing, but it also means that we are left with some of the best of records of her children and of the many notable figures of the time who visited her.

    During her career, Cameron registered her photographs with the copyright office and kept detailed records. Her shrewd business sense is one reason that so many of her works survive today. Another reason that many of Cameron's portraits are significant is because they are often the only existing photographs of historical figures. Many paintings and drawings exist, but, at the time, photography was still a new, challenging medium for someone outside a typical portrait studio.

    The bulk of Cameron's photographs fit into two categories: closely framed portraits and illustrative allegories based on religious and literary works. In the allegorical works in particular, her artistic influence was clearly Pre-Raphaelite, with far-away looks and limp poses and soft lighting.

    Cameron's sister ran the artistic scene at Little Holland House, which gave her many famous subjects for her portraits. Some of her famous subjects include: Charles Darwin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, John Everett Millais, William Michael Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Ellen Terry and George Frederic Watts. Most of these distinctive portraits are cropped closely around the subject's face and are in soft focus. Cameron was often friends with these Victorian celebrities, and tried to capture their personalities in her photos.

    Cameron's posed photographic illustrations represent the other half of her work. In these illustrations, she frequently photographed historical scenes or literary works, which often took the quality of oil paintings. However, she made no attempt in hiding the backgrounds. Cameron's friendship with Tennyson led to his asking her to photograph illustrations for his Idylls of the King. These photographs are designed to look like oil paintings from the same time period, including rich details like historical costumes and intricate draperies. Today, these posed works are sometimes dismissed by art critics. Nevertheless, Cameron saw these photographs as art, just like the oil paintings they imitated.

    In 1875 the Camerons returned to Ceylon. Julia continued to photograph despite difficulties of getting chemicals and pure water to develop and print photographs. Also, in India, she did not have access to Little Holland House's artistic community. She also did not have a market to distribute her photographs as she had in England. Because of this, Cameron took fewer pictures in India. These pictures were of posed Indian natives, paralleling the posed pictures that Cameron had taken of neighbours in England. Almost none of Cameron's work from India survives. Cameron died in Ceylon in 1879.

    The exhibition is curated by Tessa Praun.

    Julia Margaret Cameron (England, 1815-1879):Florence Fisher, Study 1, 1872, Albumen print.

    Julia Margaret Cameron (England, 1815-1879):Florence Fisher, 1872, Albumen print.

    Julia Margaret Cameron (India, 1815-1879), The Passion Flower at the Gate, Maud, ca 1870, Albumen silver print, 32 x 25.2 cm, Collection Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

     

     

    http://arttattler.com/archivecameron.html

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