British photographic history

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Exhibition: Salt and Silver: Early Photography 1840–1860

Tate Britain is to hold the first exhibition in Britain devoted to salted paper prints, one of the earliest forms of photograph. A uniquely British invention, unveiled by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839, salt prints spread across the globe, creating a new visual language of the modern moment.

This revolutionary technique transformed subjects from still lifes, portraits, landscapes and scenes of daily life into images with their own specific aesthetic; a soft, luxurious effect particular to this photographic process. 

The few salt prints that survive make brief appearances on the gallery wall due to their fragility, and so this exhibition, a collaboration with the Wilson Centre for Photography, is a singular opportunity to see the rarest and best early photographs of this type in the world.

Tate Britain, 24 February7 June 2015. 


Image: Jean Baptiste Frenet, Horse and Groom 1855. © Wilson Centre for Photography.

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