British photographic history

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I have captured a shadow! – William Henry Fox Talbot and the invention of photography

Event Details

I have captured a shadow! – William Henry Fox Talbot and the invention of photography

Time: September 15, 2011 from 7pm to 8pm
Location: The Angus Room, Level 3, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Street: Cable St
City/Town: Wellington, New Zealand
Website or Map: http://www.tepapa.govt.nz/
Phone: +64 (0)4 381 7000
Event Type: talk
Organized By: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Latest Activity: Sep 10, 2011

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Event Description

William Henry Fox Talbot was the English inventor who pioneered photography on paper. A brilliant scientist, mathematician, and linguist, he was, nevertheless, an appalling draughtsman, and this shortfall propelled him to invent a new art form.

Talbot recognised that the photo negative allowed the production of multiple paper prints – and so defined mainstream photography right up until the digital age. 

In this fascinating talk, Dr Larry J Schaaf draws on the extensive surviving archives of Talbot's original photographs and manuscripts. Schaaf demonstrates that, beyond the act of invention, Talbot learned from what he invented and became the first artist to be influenced by photography.

Dr Larry J Schaaf is an independent photo historian based in Baltimore. He’s also a lapsed photographer. 

Dr Schaaf was introduced to the history of photography four decades ago while teaching at the University of Texas in Austin, home of the Gernsheim Collection of photography. He is the author of numerous journal articles and books on photography’s early history.

Dr Schaaf has held various institutional positions and fellowships. He was appointed Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University in 2005. William Henry Fox Talbot is his special area of study. Dr Schaaf is also director of the online correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot, which has published full searchable transcriptions of more than 10,000 of his letters.

This event is kindly supported by Victoria University of Wellington and National Services Te Paerangi.

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