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The Museum of Fine Art Houston is the final home for Julia Margaret Cameron's 'Norman' album. The album was the subject of an export licence deferral in 2018 but UK institutions were unable, or unwilling, to match an independent valuation of £3.7 million (see links below) and an export licence was granted. The album had been the subject of an earlier export licence application in 2013 when the album had been offered for sale at the Maastricht Art Fair. The application was withdrawn. The purchaser had been unknown until recently.

Malcolm Daniel, Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography, at MFAH, revealed the news to BPH and in his Photography Newsletter  He writes: 'In my last letter, I spoke about two important acquisitions...and I hinted at a third, even more major acquisition that I couldn’t yet speak about. Now I can share that news with you—an acquisition that I described for the Trustees as the single most extraordinary item that I’ve proposed for acquisition in more than 30 years as a photography curator—an album of 75 photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron, one of the greatest portraitists in the history of photography—in my opinion one of the greatest in any medium...This album is exceptional in the number of startlingly perfect prints, no doubt because Cameron took great care in the selection of existing prints or the printing and toning of new prints for this very special presentation album. In a single stroke, with this acquisition the Museum can now claim one of the greatest collections of Cameron’s photography in the world.'

The album has found a worthy home where it will be properly cared and made available to the public and for study for by an empathetic and knowledgeable curator. 

Read the MFAH newsletter  MFAH%20Photography%20News%2053.pdf

See previous BPH posts about the Norman album here:

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