Lewis Carroll, Julian Margaret Cameron & More at National Portrait Gallery, London | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Lewis Carroll, Julian Margaret Cameron & More at National Portrait Gallery, London

“Two ways of Life” by Oscar Rejlander, 1856-1857
(© Moderna Museet, Stockholm)

The National Portrait Gallery in London is currently hosting an exhibition of early photography, featuring some big names. “Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography” runs at the venue until May 20, 2018.

The show features photographs by four of the mediums renowned figures Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Oscar Rejlander (1813–75) and Lady Clementina Hawarden (1822-65). The display includes portraits by these artists and also explores the relationship between them. Drawn from public and private collections internationally “Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography” includes some of the most captivating images in photographic history, including many which have not been seen in Britain since they were made. The show also exhibits works by Swedish born “Father of Photoshop” Oscar Rejlander since the artist’s death including his famous picture “Two Ways of Life of 1856-7.”

Original negatives by Lewis Carroll and Rejlander are on display along with works by Clementina Hawarden. An album of photographs by Rejlander purchased by the National Portrait Gallery following an export bar in 2015 will also go on display together with other treasures from the gallery’s world-famous holdings of Rejlander, Cameron, and Carroll, which for conservation reasons are rarely on view.

The exhibition celebrates the contribution of four key artists in the field of photography through their experimental approach to picture-making. The four were connected in a unique way. Rejlander was a Swedish émigré with a mysterious past; Cameron was a middle-aged expatriate from colonial Ceylon (now Sri Lanka); Carroll was an Oxford academic and writer of fantasy literature; and Hawarden was landed gentry, the child of a Scottish naval hero and a Spanish woman. Yet, Carroll, Cameron, and Hawarden briefly studied under Rejlander. They maintained long-term associations, exchanging ideas about portraiture and narrative.

“Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography” runs through May 20, 2018, at National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin's Pl, London WC2H 0HE, UK.

For details, visit: http://www.blouinartinfo.com/galleryguide-venues/285243/museum-overview

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.