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The Pre-Raphaelite Lens: British Photography and Painting, 1848–1875

October 31, 2010 – January 30, 2011
West Building, Ground Floor, Inner Tier Galleries G31 through G34

Henry Peach Robinson, She Never Told her Love, 1857, albumen print from a wet collodion negative, Paul Mellon Fund, 2007.29.40

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: 95 photographs, 10 paintings, 12 works on paper, and 9 volumes were shown in this exhibition, which chronicled the relationship between painting and the new medium of photography in Britain from 1848 to 1875. Included were photographs by Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, and Henry Peach Robinson and paintings by John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, among others. Works in the exhibition were from the collection of the National Gallery of Art and loans from public and private collections in Britain and the United States. The exhibition was organized in thematic sections on landscape, portraiture, literary and historical narratives, and modern-life subjects.

Exhibition curator Diane Waggoner presented the lecture "Uncompromising Truth: British Photography and Pre-Raphaelitism" on November 21, followed by a book signing of the catalog. New York Chamber Soloists presented a concert of works by British composers on November 3 in honor of the exhibition. A public symposium, "Truth to Nature: British Photography and Pre-Raphaelitism," with lectures by David Coleman, Duncan Forbes, Laura Henrickson, Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, and Malcolm Warner, was held on January 22.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in association with the Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Diane Waggoner, associate curator of the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art, was curator.

Sponsor: The exhibition was made possible through the 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 was supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Attendance: 46,416 (92 days)

Catalog: The Pre-Raphaelite Lens: British Photography and Painting, 1848–1875, by Diane Waggoner et al. Washington: National Gallery of Art in association with Lund Humphries, Surrey, UK, 2010.

Other Venues: Musée d'Orsay, Paris, March 6–May 29, 2011