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19th Century Innovations

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To mark the bicentenary of the birth of Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–1879), one of the most important and innovative photographers of the 19th century, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) will showcase more than 100 of her photographs from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition will offer a retrospective of Cameron’s work and examine her relationship with the V&A’s founding director, Sir Henry Cole, who in 1865 presented her first museum exhibition and the only one during her lifetime.

Cameron is one of the most celebrated women in the history of photography. She began her photographic career when she received her first camera as a gift from her daughter at the age of 48, and quickly and energetically devoted herself to the art of photography. Within two years Cameron had sold and given her photographs to the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) and in 1868, the Museum granted her the use of two rooms as a portrait studio.

Cameron’s photographs were highly innovative: intentionally out-of-focus, and often including scratches, smudges and other traces of her process. In her lifetime, Cameron was criticised for her unconventional techniques, but also appreciated for the beauty of her compositions and her conviction that photography was an art form.

Please find more information at Victoria and Albert Museum

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