Within a week of Talbot's public presentation of the photogenic drawing process, John Dillwyn Llewelyn was trying his hand at the new technique. He owed his early introduction to the invention to his wife, the inventor's first cousin Emma Thomasina Talbot. This page from an album belonging to Llewelyn's daughter Emma Charlotte (1837- 1929) combines the two principal means of photographic picture-making invented by Talbot: an image made by direct contact with an object (see no. 1) and a camera image printed from a negative. The picture presents two characteristic pursuits of educated Victorian women, art and science, the dual poles that also characterized amateur photography itself. Many nineteenth-century pictures were surrounded by decorative borders of lace, cut paper, or ink and watercolor, often the inventive product of a young woman of leisure. In a clever variation of this convention, Llewelyn's border records the shadow of a lacy wreath of maidenhair fern. In the central vignette we see Thereza (1834-1926), another of the photographer's daughters, shown with books, botanical specimens, and scientific apparatus. Typical of well educated and well-to-do Victorian women, Thereza pursued varied interests, including botany, microscopy, astronomy, and photography. Llewelyn seems to suggest a relationship between the floral border and the view seen by his daughter--between the lens of the camera and that of the microscope-- prompting the viewer to muse on the parallel means of optical discovery.
Inscription: Ink captions on album pages, most with photographer's credit
Emma Charlotte Dillwyn Llewelyn (photographer's daughter); (sold, Sotheby's, late 1970s); [Galerie Bischofberger], by 1983; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, December 8, 1983
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 41a".
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 Drawing Center. "Ocean Flowers: Impressions of Nature," March 25, 2004–May 22, 2004.
Yale Center for British Art, Yale University. "Ocean Flowers: Impressions of Nature," June 12, 2004–August 8, 2004.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 42," January 10, 2006–April 23, 2006.
Musée de l'Orangerie. "Qui a peur des femmes photographes? 1839-1945," October 13, 2015–January 25, 2016.
Apraxine, Pierre. Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company. Reeds Springs, Mo.: White Oak Press, 1985. pl. 62.
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. pl. 16.