Possibly by William Henry Fox Talbot (British, Dorset 1800–1877 Lacock)
Possibly by Calvert Richard Jones (British, Swansea, Wales 1802–1877 Bath, England)
Salted paper print from paper negative
17.1 x 21.1 cm (6 3/4 x 8 5/16 in. )
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Harriette and Noel Levine Gift, 2005
Not on view
Talbot was not only a man of learning and a Fellow of the Royal Society, he was also a member of Great Britain's landed gentry. Following the death of his father, six-month-old Henry Talbot was named the sole heir to the sprawling and somewhat ruinous estate known as Lacock Abbey. Established in 1232, the abbey was converted into a private residence and its church demolished after the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1539. The fifteenth-century cloisters of the abbey are the setting for this scene, which may have been set up by Talbot's close friend and photographic disciple Calvert Jones. Portraiture and figure studies became a viable subject for photography only after Talbot's second important discovery. On September 23, 1840, Talbot had found a way to chemically excite--or develop, as we would say--the latent image that had registered on a sheet of photo sensitized paper during an exposure too brief to imprint itself visibly. With this new process, patented by its inventor as the calotype or talbotype, exposure times could be reduced from minutes to seconds.
Inscription: Inscribed in ink, verso BR: "LA300"
[Hans P. Kraus, Jr., New York]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, May 23, 1990
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 25, 1993–July 4, 1993.
Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," August 7, 1993–October 2, 1993.
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," June 19, 1994–September 11, 1994.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Photography from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," February 26, 1999–May 23, 1999.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photographs. "Grand Illusions: Staged Photography from the Collection," August 10, 2015–November 15, 2015.
Hambourg, Maria Morris, Pierre Apraxine, Malcolm Daniel, Virginia Heckert, and Jeff L. Rosenheim. The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 15.
Schaaf, Larry J. William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné, Oxford: Bodleian Libraries, 2017. http://foxtalbot.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/.