October 31, 2010–January 30, 2011
This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery. Please follow the links below for related online resources or visit our current exhibitions schedule.
In the first survey of British art photography focusing on the 1850s and 1860s, some 100 photographs and 20 paintings and watercolors chronicle the roles photography and Pre-Raphaelite art played in changing concepts of vision and truth in representation. Photography's ability to quickly translate the material world into an image challenged painters to find alternate versions of realism. Photographers, in turn, looked to Pre-Raphaelite subject matter and visual strategies in order to legitimize photography's status as a fine art. As the exhibition will show, Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, Henry Peach Robinson, Oscar Gustave Rejlander, and many lesser known photographers had much in common with such painters as John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and John William Inchbold, as all wrestled with the question of how to observe and represent the natural world and the human face and figure. This rich dialogue between photography and painting is examined in the exhibition's thematic sections on landscape, portraiture, literary and historical narratives, and modern-life subjects.
Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in association with the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
Sponsor: The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Trellis Fund and the Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation and Marcella and Neil Cohen.
Early support for research was provided by the Marlene Nathan Meyerson Family Foundation.
The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Schedule: National Gallery of Art, Washington, October 31, 2010–January 30, 2011; Musée d'Orsay, March 6–May 29, 2011
Presenting twenty-two rare photographs and reproductive prints, this exhibition highlights resources for the study of Victorian art and culture from the department of image collections. By the mid-nineteenth century a wide range of art reproductions, made possible by advances in printmaking and photographic processes, were available in Britain. This diverse selection of images documents the work of Victorian artists including Edward Burne-Jones, John Everett Millais, and George Frederic Watts, as well as significant exhibitions and collections of the period. In examining photography as an emerging medium for documenting and reproducing works of art, this show features the work of five leading nineteenth-century photographers. Photographs range from an early salted paper print by Roger Fenton to later platinum prints by Frederick Hollyer, who photographed the work of Pre-Raphaelite and aesthetic movement artists. This exhibition also explores the production and distribution of reproductive prints. During the nineteenth century, prints played an increasingly important role in the popularity and success of many artists, who profited from the sale of reproductions of their work to the burgeoning middle classes.
Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington
Schedule: National Gallery of Art, Washington, November 1, 2010–January 28, 2011