Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Julia Margaret Cameron (née Pattle)

Julia Margaret Cameron

19th century Pre-Raphaelite photographer and writer
(Calcutta, 1815 - 1879, Dikoya Valley, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka))

As the daughter of an official of the East India Company, Cameron spent a number of years in Calcutta, but was educated in England and France. She married Charles Hay Cameron in 1838 and brought up six children. She was given her first camera in 1864 to keep her occupied while her husband and sons tended to the family coffee plantation in Ceylon. She mastered the difficult wet collodion negative and albumen print process, and was later elected as a member to the photographic societies of London and Scotland in 1864. Cameron regarded the recent technical advancements of photography as an intrusion between her and her subject. She often inscribed on her work "From Life," and refused to retouch defects on the negative. Her soft-focus technique gives her images a dream-like quality, often using dramatic and symbolic lighting. Her major work of narrative photography was her "Illustrations to Tennyson's 'Idylls of the King' and Other Poems" (London, 1874-1875).

1 objects

Portrait of Maud

vintage albumen print from glass plate negative
Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund