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Julia Margaret Cameron: A Critical Biography

  • Colin Ford

    Hilton Kramer, former art critic of The New York Times, once described British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–1879) as "one of the finest portraitists of the nineteenth century―in any medium." Raised in a well-connected and creative family, Cameron led an unconventional life for a woman of the Victorian age. After devoting herself to an artistic and literary salon at her home on the Isle of Wight and raising eleven children, Cameron took up the fairly new art form of photography in her late forties. Over the next fourteen years, she produced more than a thousand images, including romantic pictures of young women and strikingly original―if often controversial―literary illustrations. Her searching portraits of her friends and acquaintances, including such eminent personalities as Alfred Tennyson and Charles Darwin, have been called the world's first close-ups.

    This biography of Cameron draws on scholarly insights resulting from a thorough documentation of Cameron's surviving prints. It casts new light on the artist's links with the leading cultural figures of her time and on the techniques she used to achieve her distinctive style.

    This book was published to coincide with an exhibition of Cameron's photographs that was on display at the National Portrait Gallery, London, and the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford, England, in spring 2003, and at the J. Paul Getty Museum in October 2003.

    Colin Ford is founding head of the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford, England, and former director of the National Museums and Galleries of Wales.

    "Attractive and informative."
    —Independent on Sunday

    212 pages
    9 5/8 x 11 3/4 inches
    100 color and 20 b/w illustrations
    ISBN 978-0-89236-707-8

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum