Rev. Dr. Thomas Chalmers

Photography Studio Hill and Adamson British, Scottish
David Octavius Hill British, Scottish
Robert Adamson British, Scottish

Not on view

In 1843, four hundred ministers of the Church of Scotland met in Edinburgh to sign the Deed of Demission, resigning their positions and privileges in order to establish the Free Church of Scotland. Inspired by the event, the painter Hill determined to create a large commemorative painting portraying everyone present at the signing. Realizing that the ministers would soon leave Edinburgh to return to their parishes throughout Scotland, Hill sought the aid of a local photographer, Robert Adamson, to create individual photographs of the ministers that could serve later as guides for the portraits in the painting. The dramatically lit and psychologically engaging portraits that this painter-and-photographer team produced far outshone Hill's enormous, tedious painting, in which the accumulation of faces diminished the power of each.

Rev. Dr. Thomas Chalmers, Hill and Adamson (British, active 1843–1848), Salted paper print from paper negative

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