British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Exhibition: Close Up & Personal: Victorians & Their Photographs / 14 June-13 November 2016

The advent of photography in 1839 catapulted Victorian society into a new age of science, art and leisure. Previously only the wealthy could possess a painted portrait, but photography was cheaper and democratised the privilege of owning a likeness. A variety of forms soon emerged including the carte-de-visite, the daguerreotype, albumen prints, family photograph albums and stereoscopes.

This exhibition explores some of the ways that early photography was enjoyed by a society that quickly become obsessed with the new technology. See how the industry boomed and the culture of celebrity was born.

Close Up & Personal: Victorians & Their Photographs is a new interactive exhibition of photography and photographic items from the Watts Gallery Collection, with loans from the London Stereoscopic Company. See images of Victorian celebrities, and discover the rise of photography as art through the images of Julia Margaret Cameron and Henry Holiday. Interact with stereoscopic viewers (the first 3D photographic technique), and take a Victorian-style selfie.


24 June: Watts at Dusk: Camera Obscura

16 July: Watts Academy Workshop: Pinhole Cameras

25 July: Study Day: Victorian Stereoscopes with Denis Pellerin

29 July: Watts at Dusk: Light & Shadow

4, 11, 18, 25 August: Free Family Drop-in: Photography Studio

19 August: One Day Workshop: Photography

25 August: Curator Breakfast Tour

12, 19, 26 Sept, 3, 10 October: Five Week History of Art & Design Course: Photography in the Victorian Age with Colin Ford CBE Hon FRPS, Bronwen Colquhoun, Denis Pellerin, Rhian Addison and Hilary Underwood

12 October: Evening Talk: The Dawn of Photography - From the Camera Obscura to ... with Rob Dickins

See more at:

Watts Gallery Artists' Village, Down Lane, Compton, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1DQ

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