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Exhibition: 'Beautiful effects': Ruskin’s Daguerreotypes of Switzerland

The Whitehouse Collection held by the Ruskin Foundation at the Ruskin Library contains 125 Daguerreotypes – one-off plates using the first popular process of permanent photography.  The third display in a series of four, this focuses on the Swiss scenes.  John Ruskin travelled to the French and Swiss Alps more often than any other place in Europe, from a childhood visit in 1833, when he was just fourteen, to a few days on the return from his last continental trip in 1888.

His favourite places were Chamonix, where he found perfect mountain scenery, and the towns of Lucerne on its lake, hilly Fribourg, and Rheinfelden with its bridge over the river Rhine.   An early devotee of the Daguerreotype, Ruskin had acquired his own camera by 1849 and made some 40 Swiss subjects before 1858, of which 23 are now in the Ruskin Library.  These are being shown alongside drawings, watercolours, letters and diaries complementing each subject – sometimes exactly, as in the watercolour of the Mer de Glace at Chamonix and drawings of Fribourg.

On show: 16 January-15 April 2012 at the Ruskin Library, University of Lancaster


Opening times: Gallery: Monday-Friday 10am-4pm - during Exhibitions (closed weekends and Bank Holidays)

Of unconnected - but related interest - is the collection of daguerreotypes purchased in 2006 be Ken Jacobson which are the subject of a forthcoming book see: and the original news report of the £75,000 sale:

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