150 years after first exhibiting the works, Victoria and Albert Museum presents over 100 photographs of the most important and experimental photographers of the 19th Century, Julia Margaret Cameron, in a show marking the bicentenary of the artist’s birth.
Cameron, born in Calcutta 200 years ago, is one of the most celebrated women in the history of photography. After receiving her first camera as a gift from her daughter in the age of 48, she quickly and energetically devoted herself to the art of photography and in little more than a decade, produced hundreds of searching portraits of the most eminent figures of the Victorian age and equally enigmatic portraits of her servants and friends.
Cameron’s photographs were highly innovative: intentionally out-of-focus, and often including scratches, smudges and other traces of her process. In her lifetime, Cameron was criticised for her unconventional techniques, but also appreciated for the beauty of her compositions and her conviction that photography was an art form.
The V&A exhibition will showcase more than 100 of Cameron’s photographs from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition will offer a retrospective of Cameron’s work and examine her relationship with the V&A’s founding director, Sir Henry Cole, who in 1865 presented her first museum exhibition and the only one during her lifetime.