Impressed by light : British photographs from paper negatives, 1840-1860 /

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Main Author: Taylor, Roger, 1940-
Corporate Authors: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)
Other Authors: Schaaf, Larry J. 1947-
Format: Book
Language:English
Published:New York : Metropolitan Museum of Art ; Washington : National Gallery of Art ; New Haven : Yale University Press, c2007.
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Review by Choice Review

This excellent book belongs in every library's photographic collection. Taylor (De Montfort Univ., Leicester) comprehensively covers the two decades (1840-60) of the paper negatives' dominance in Great Britain. He places the process into its social and political context, including discussions of class, amateur and professional status, and nationalism. Identifying the association of the rival daguerreotype with commerce and of the calotype with fine art prints, Taylor clarifies the differences in practitioners and reception of the two. The politics of photography come into play in his discussion of the formation of photographic clubs, the Crystal Palace exhibition, and the highly controversial London International Exhibition of 1862. Two chapters address contemporary aesthetics and the recurring subjects in photographs from paper negatives. Instead of enumerating the step-by-step process of making a paper print, Taylor follows a hypothetical novice in his search for information and technical experimentation, engendering in readers a more immediate sense of the excitement and confusion of the adventurer in a new medium. The 330 illustrations, one-third of them in color, are excellent. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above; general readers. S. Spencer North Carolina State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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