Impressed by Light

British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860

February 3 – May 4, 2008

West Building Ground Floor


Overview: 115 British photographic prints created from paper negatives ("calotypes") were presented in this exhibition drawn from the collections of the National Gallery of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and loans from other public and private collections in the United States and Great Britain. The exhibition, the first to explore the calotype process, presented views of landscapes, ruins, and exotic scenery by more than 40 photographers, including Roger Fenton, Linnaeus Tripe and B.B. Turner, as well as many gentlemen-amateurs.

Exhibition curator Sarah Greenough gave an opening-day lecture in the East Building Auditorium.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in association with the Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Curators were Roger Taylor, professor of photographic history, De Montfort University, Leicester; Sarah Greenough, senior curator of photographs at the National Gallery of Art, Washington; and Malcolm Daniel, curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Sponsor: The exhibition was supported by the Trellis Fund, The Hite Foundation, and The Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation. The exhibition catalogue was made possible by Howard Stein, with additional support from the Mary C. and James W. Fosburgh Publications Fund and the Roswell L. Gilpatric Publications Fund at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was published with the assistance of The Getty Foundation.

Image: Linnaeus Tripe, Madura: The Vygay River, with Causeway, across to Madura, January-March 1858, salted paper print, The Carolyn Brody Fund and Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation through Robert and Joyce Menschel, 2006.6.1

Attendance: 39,554

Catalog: Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840–1860 by Roger Taylor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007.