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William Henry Fox Talbot

British, 1800 - 1877

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Talbot began experimenting with sensitizing paper on his estate in Lacock Abbey. His first pictures were of lace, leaves, and grasses, which he exposed to the sun in printing frames and called "photogenic drawings." He made his first picture with a camera in 1835, and by the early 1840s he used repeated washes of salt and silver nitrate solutions and introduced gallic acid. He called these pictures "calotypes" and took many of Lacock, its inhabitants and visitors, architecture, and ships. In 1843 he opened an establishment in Reading, where he developed the first photographic printing works able to print calotypes in large numbers. Between 1843 and 1846 he produced the first photographically illustrated book, The Pencil of Nature.

Artist Bibliography

Arnold, Harry. William Henry Fox Talbot: Pioneer of Photography and Man of Science. London, 1977.
Lassam, Robert. Fox Talbot, Photographer. Tisbury, England, 1979.
Buckland, Gail. Fox Talbot and the Invention of Photography. Boston, 1980.
Ref Number: 1989.494.
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