Exhibitions/ Art Object

The Wigwam, a Canadian Scene at Penllergare

Artist:
John Dillwyn Llewelyn (British, Swansea, Wales 1810–1882 Swansea, Wales)
Date:
ca. 1855
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
Image: 18.5 x 22.1 cm (7 5/16 x 8 11/16 in.) Mount: 22.1 x 36.9 cm (8 11/16 x 14 1/2 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.573
Not on view
Within a week of Talbot's public presentation of the "photogenic drawing" process in February 1839, Llewelyn experimented with the new "drawing" technique. He owed his early introduction to the medium to his wife, Emma Thomasina Talbot, first cousin of the inventor. This curious view shows a rustic, split-log wigwam and a Canadian birch bark canoe-odd stuff to be found in Victorian-era Wales. The photograph comes from a rare group of prints belonging to Llewelyn's daughter, Emma Charlotte. It is one of many that the photographer made at Penllergare, his idyllic country estate in Glamorgan, South Wales. Further research will be required to determine if the canoe was exported by Canada for its presentation at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London-and acquired thereafter by Llewelyn-or imported directly from North America by the amateur photographer for use at Penllergare. The canoe demonstrates the refined boatmaking skills of the native peoples of maritime Canada; the wigwam, and the photograph itself, pure Welsh invention.
Inscription: Inscribed in ink, mount recto, C: "The Wigwam"
[Hans P. Kraus, Jr., Inc., New York]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, December 18, 1987

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