British photographic history

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Book: Sarah Angelina Acland re-discovered as one of the Pioneers of Colour Photography

A richly illustrated book from Bodleian Library Publishing on the life, career, and pictures of pioneering photographic artist Sarah Angelina Acland sheds new light on the history of colour photography.

Sarah Angelina Acland (1849–1930) is one of the most important photographers of the late Victorian and early Edwardian periods. Daughter of the Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford, she was photographed by Lewis Carroll as a child, along with her close friend Ina Liddell, sister of Alice of Wonderland fame. The critic John Ruskin taught her art and she also knew many of the Pre-Raphaelites, holding Rossetti’s palette for him as he painted the Oxford Union murals. At the age of nineteen she met the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, whose influence is evident in her early work.

Following in the footsteps of Cameron and Carroll, Miss Acland first came to attention as a portraitist, photographing illustrious visitors to her Oxford home. In 1900 she then turned to the fledgling field of colour photography. Specializing in the ‘Sanger Shepherd process’, she became the leading colour photographer of the day. Her colour photographs were regarded as the finest that had ever been seen by her contemporaries, several years before the release of the Lumière Autochrome system, which she also practised.

This new book provides the only opportunity to see Miss Acland’s photographs, illustrating more than 200 examples of her work, from portraits to picturesque views of the gardens of Madeira. Some fifty unpublished specimens of the photographic art and science of her peers are also reproduced from the Bodleian collections, including four unrecorded child portraits by Carroll. Detailed descriptions accompany the images, explaining their interest and significance.

A rich introduction to the beginnings of colour photography, this book not only sheds important light on the history of photography in the period, but also offers a fascinating insight into the lives of a pre-eminent English family and their circle of friends.

Format: 304 pp, hardback, 278 x 245 mm, 188 monochrome images and 124 colour images

ISBN:  978 1 85124 372 3

Price: £45.00

Publication: Bodleian Library Publishing, 13 September 2012

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Comment by Jan Marsh on June 25, 2014 at 11:07

dear  Giles Hudson

I am trying to contact you with regard to Angelina Acland's portraits of Burdon Sanderson

could you furnish a contact address?


Jan Marsh   NPG

Comment by Janine P Freeston on October 15, 2012 at 20:42

The Volume is teaming with Miss Sarah Angelina Acland's images as well as some significant images by her friends. The first part of the book concentrates  on contextualising her life influences and actions and the second part acts a catalogue of her work. Most of the image are generously scaled and accompanied by a fulsome and complementary commentary that frames each of the extensive range of beautiful carefully digitally reconstructed images. 

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