This work by William Henry Fox Talbot is the earliest example of photography in the Museum collection. Working in the 1830s and 1840s, Talbot created a process using a paper negative from which multiple prints could be made and discovered ways to speed up exposure and processing time by using developing chemicals. As a scientist and inventor, Talbot was interested in exploring all of the possible uses of photography with the idea that photographic processes could take over the documentary role of painting and printmaking. This landscape scene from Loch Katrine, Scotland, was made as part of a series published by subscription as Sun Pictures in Scotland.
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- Titles Loch Katrine (Former title)
- Artist William Henry Fox Talbot, British, born Dorset 1800 - died 1877, Lacock, Wiltshire
- Medium salt paper print from a calotype paper negative
- Dimensions sheet: 7 7/16 × 8 7/8 in. (18.9 × 22.5 cm) image: 6 3/4 × 8 3/16 in. (17.1 × 20.8 cm) mat: 16 × 20 in. (40.6 × 50.8 cm)
- Credit Line Museum purchase with funds provided by the estate of Murray and Keehn Berry, 2006.12
- Work Type photograph
- Classification Photographs
- Signature Watermark, center: ALTON MILL / 1836
- Marks Watermark, center: ALTON MILL / 1836
- Inscription Recto: none Verso, bottom left corner, in pencil: X2708 Bottom center, in pencil, in different hand: PF22331 Bottom right corner, in black ink, in different hand: LA36 Verso of dealer mat, interior and exterior, bottom center: Descon Int. 20612
- Provenance William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877), Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, England; inherited by Talbot’s son, Charles Henry Talbot (1842-1916), 1877 [see note 1]; by bequest to his niece, Matilda Theresa Talbot (1871-1956), 1916 [see note 2]; dealer Hans P. Kraus, Jr., New York, June 1996 [see note 3]; dealer Simon Lowinsky, New York, April 1998 [see note 4]; dealer Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, August 1998 [see note 5]; purchased by the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 2006
1. Charles Henry Talbot inherited the entirety of Lacock Abbey estate.
2. Matilda Theresa Talbot is bequeathed the entirety of Lacock Abbey estate. The inscription “LA 36” on the verso of 2006.12 verifies that it was still at Lacock Abbey in 1968. This is an inventory number inscribed by Eugene Ostroff, curator of photography at the Smithsonian, during a research trip to the abbey in 1968. According to correspondence via email with Roger Watson, curator at the Fox Talbot Museum, dated February 24, 2020, it is likely that the photograph stayed with a member of the Talbot family until it was enter the market through dealer Hans P Kraus, Jr.
3. According to correspondence with Shelley Dowell from Hans P. Kraus, Inc. via email, dated February 12, 2020.
5. According to correspondence with Zach Ritter from Howard Greenberg Gallery via email, dated February 21, 2020.