PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Carnegie Museum Of Art

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8.5 x 10 in. / 96 pgs / 40 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 37   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780880390606 TRADE
List Price: $25.00 CDN $34.50

AVAILABILITY
In stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Pittsburgh, PA
Carnegie Museum of Art, 11/18/17–2/11/18

"I feel confident that such an alliance of science with art will prove conducive to the improvement of both."
- William Henry Fox Talbot

BOOKSELLER TRADE ANNOTATION

The preeminent Gentleman Scientist of the 19th century, William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) was the photography pioneer who invented many of the first photographic processes.
  • A $25 introduction to Talbot: it will be the only AFFORDABLE, SMALL-FORMAT survey on the photographer.
  • Handsome design and packaging make this a natural gift book choice.
  • Includes 30 photographs by Talbot that demonstrate his wide-ranging interests, including nature, still-life, portraiture, architecture and landscape; one quarter of the featured images have been unpublished since Talbot's time.
  • Talbot's The Pencil of Nature (1844-46) was the first book with photographic illustrations.
  • PROMOTION and PUBLICITY: Pittsburgh: Carnegie Museum of Art, 11/18/17-2/11/18: THe BIGGEST Talbot show in the US within the last 15 years.
  • CONTRIBUTORS: Dan Leers is curator of photography at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Larry J. Schaaf is the director of the William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonne and author of The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot (Princeton University Press, 2000).

  

CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography

Text by Dan Leers with contributions by Larry Schaaf.

Featured image is reproduced from 'William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography.'

With rarely seen images, this handsome, affordable volume shows Talbot's wide-ranging interests

This beautiful publication serves as a primer on the work of William Henry Fox Talbot, a true interdisciplinary innovator who drew on his knowledge of art, botany, chemistry and optics to become one of the inventors of photography in 1839. Talbot’s “photogenic drawings” (photograms), calotypes and salted paper prints are some of the first-ever examples of images captured on paper.

Accompanying an exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh opening in November 2017, this book brings together more than 30 photographs by Talbot that demonstrate his wide-ranging interests, including nature, still-life, portraiture, architecture and landscape. Some of these images are previously unpublished. Through thematic groupings elucidated by noted Talbot scholar Larry Schaaf, the book reveals the photographer’s early striving to test the boundaries of his medium at a historic moment when art and science intersected. With its luminous reproductions of Talbot’s fragile works, this publication demonstrates that, in its earliest days, photography required a form of magic-making and innovation that continues to inspire people today.

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–77) was a gentleman scientist in Victorian England. He is best known for his development of the calotype, an early photographic process that involved the use of a negative, from which multiple prints could be made. Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature (1844–46) was the first mass-produced book with photographic illustrations.


Featured image is reproduced from 'William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

British Photographic History

Michael Pritchard

A beautiful, small-format book that serves as a primer on the work of Talbot, featuring an introductory essay by curator Dan Leers and thematic groupings elucidated by noted Talbot scholar Larry Schaaf. With its luminous reproductions of Talbot’s fragile works, this publication (hardcover, 96 pages, 50 illustrations) demonstrates that early photography required a form of magic-making and innovation that continues to inspire people today.

Tribune Review

Joanne Klimovich Harrop

With its luminous reproductions of Talbot’s fragile works, this publication demonstrates that early photography required a blend of magic-making and innovation

ArtDaily

Talbot’s final innovations in photography entailed his incorporation of photographs into printed books. The reproducibility of his calotypes—and his photoglyphic and photographic engravings which printed images in ink—represented an entirely new way of disseminating pictures. Contemporary photographers continue to grapple with capturing, fixing, and sharing an image in the digital era. As a result, Talbot’s work feels as relevant today as it did 175 years ago.

New Yorker

Max Campbell

As Dan Leers, the curator of the Carnegie Museum of Art’s ... exhibition “William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography,” explains, to display certain Talbot images would be to destroy them. To measure and control potential damage, Leers recently deployed a device called a spectrophotometer, which is used to help track degradation from exposure to light. He says that, if a reading of an image indicates any risk of “deep-sixing,” that particular photograph will no longer be displayed

Wall Street International Magazine

A true 'gentleman scientist' of the Victorian period, Talbot combined his knowledge of chemistry, mathematics, and optics, with his interest in art, botany, and classics to invent the paper-based photography that dominated the field for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Due to the fragile nature of the photographs, exhibitions of Talbot’s work are rare.

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography

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FROM THE BOOK
Letter to the Editor of Literary Gazette, “Calotype (Photogenic) Drawing,” February 13, 1841

“I remember it was said by many persons, at the time when photogenic drawing was first spoken of, that it was likely to prove injurious to art, as substituting mere mechanical labor in lieu of talent and experience. Now, so far from this being the case, I find that in this, as in most other things, there is ample room for the exercise of skill and judgment. It would hardly be believed how different an effect is produced by a longer or shorter exposure to the light, and, also, by mere variations in the fixing process, by means of which almost any tint, cold or warm, may be thrown over the picture, and the effect of bright or gloomy weather may be imitated at pleasure. All this falls within the artist’s province to combine and to regulate; and if, in the course of these manipulations, he nolens volens, becomes a chemist and an optician, I feel confident that such an alliance of science with art will prove conducive to the improvement of both.” - William Henry Fox Talbot, February 5, 1841

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