Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs

Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs

by Julian Cox, Colin Ford
     
 

According to one of Julia Margaret Cameron's great-nieces, "We never knew what Aunt Julia was going to do next, nor did any one else." This is an accurate summation of the life of the British photographer (1815-1879), who took up the camera at age forty-eight and made more than a thousand images over the next fourteen years. Living at the height of the

Overview

According to one of Julia Margaret Cameron's great-nieces, "We never knew what Aunt Julia was going to do next, nor did any one else." This is an accurate summation of the life of the British photographer (1815-1879), who took up the camera at age forty-eight and made more than a thousand images over the next fourteen years. Living at the height of the Victorian era, Cameron was anything but conventional, experimenting with the relatively new medium of photography, promoting her art through exhibitions and sales, and pursuing the eminent men of her time (Tennyson, Herschel, Carlyle, etc.) as subjects for her lens. For the first time, all known images by Cameron, one of the most important nineteenth-century artists in any medium, are gathered together in a catalogue raisonné.

In addition to a complete catalogue of Cameron's photographs, the book contains information on her photographic experiments and techniques, artistic approach, small-format photographs, albums, commercial strategies, sitters, and sources of inspiration. Also provided is a selected bibliography of all major Cameron publications, a list of exhibitions of her work, and a summary of important Cameron collections worldwide.
This catalogue is published in conjunction with a traveling exhibition of Cameron's photographs that opens in England in spring 2003 and will be on view at the Getty Museum in autumn 2003.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
This complete collection of Cameron's reveals the profound bipolarities of her production: extravagantly mannered yet psychologically intimate, wildly ambitious yet intensely devotional, unabashedly painterly yet enraptured with the written word. Her gallery of portraiture ranges from Charles Darwin to Anthony Trollope, the literary references of her narrative tableaus run from Milton to Byron, her spectral ''Annunciations'' and ''Salutations'' transform domestic servants into exalted Madonnas. Her images of children are delightful and disturbing. — Frederick Kaufman
Publishers Weekly
Victorian mise-en-scene photographer Cameron (1815-1879) pronounced her aspirations grandly: "to ennoble Photography and to secure for it the character and uses of High Art by combining the real and Ideal and sacrificing nothing of the Truth by all possible devotion to poetry and beauty." Julian Cox, an assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, has plumbed the world's collections to assemble this catalogue raisonn , and his labors help Cameron's art fulfill that ambition. As a book it is little short of revelatory. Cameron's signature children-as-angels, women-as-Madonnas and other spiritually charged portraits are here in full-page and thumbnail sepia prints (with full provenance and descriptions), and the book follows Cameron's own preferences for classifying her work, including "Portraits," "Madonna Groups" and "Fancy Subjects for Pictorial Effect." But in an ingenious move, Cox groups multiple portraits of the same sitter, taken at different points in Cameron's career, on the same pages, so that Cameron's mysteriously serene men, women and children emerge as actual human beings: side by side photos of the sitter Mary Hillier as Psyche, Sappho, Clio and St. Agnes betray something of Hillier's own nature. No less astonishing are Cameron's photos from the period at the end of her life when she followed her husband to a posting in Ceylon, with shots of the native people tinged with colonialism's gaze-one that seems eerily similar to the beatific shots. Samples of Cameron's letters, biographical sketches of her subjects, sources of inspiration, essays by Cox and Ford (founder of the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television) make up the supporting material. This book is a necessary expense for any Victorianist or early photography buff. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
At the age of 48, the eccentric and highly cultured Julia Margaret Cameron (1829-97) discovered photography and set out on a 14-year career that would yield some of the medium's most memorable images. Cameron's portraits and tableaux have been widely exhibited, studied, and published, but this handsome and thorough volume, a catalogue raisonn that reproduces and describes 1,222 photographs, is the crowning glory of Cameron scholarship. It not only reproduces every extant image (though admittedly more are still to be discovered) but it offers authoritative essays about the photographer's lively social and cultural life, the major themes of her work, and her extraordinary devotion to a nascent art form, as well as a chronology and detailed appendixes. The book's thematic sections feature several full-page duotone reproductions followed by related smaller images in black and white. The catalog's principal writers, Cox and Ford, are assistant curator of photos at the Getty and founding head of England's National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, respectively. While smaller libraries may make do with the commendable but less comprehensive earlier publications (e.g., Cox's volume for Getty's "In Focus" series or Julia Margaret Cameron's Women by Sylvia Wolf and others), this book is a highly worthy investment for all serious art and photography collections.-Carolyn Kuebler, "Library Journal" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892366811
Publisher:
Getty Publications
Publication date:
03/28/2003
Series:
Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum Series
Pages:
576
Product dimensions:
12.10(w) x 9.70(h) x 2.00(d)

Meet the Author

Julian Cox is assistant curator of photographs at the Getty Museum. Colin Ford is former head of the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford, England, and former director of the National Museums of Wales.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >