Julia Margaret Cameron

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Cameron, Julia Margaret

(kăm`ərən), 1815–79, English pioneer photographer, b. Calcutta (now Kolkata). Born and married into the high ranks of the British civil service, Cameron became an intimate of many of the most famous people of her day. In 1863 she received the gift of a camera from one of her daughters and quickly became an ardent amateur photographer, upgrading her camera only three years later and using the difficult wet collodion process. Cameron demanded long, arduous sittings from her large circle of illustrious friends. She sought to illuminate the inner person of her subject, and her celebrated portraits, including those of Tennyson, Carlyle, Ellen Terry, Browning, Darwin, Trollope, and Longfellow, are remarkably spontaneous. She also pioneered the use of closeups, soft focus, and the darkroom manipulation of negatives and was a key figure in establishing the photographic portrait as a legitimate work of art. Some of her works were published as Victorian Photographs of Famous Men and Fair Women (rev. ed. 1973).


See C. Ford and J. Cox, Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs (2003); biographies by B. Hill (1973), H. Gernsheim (1975), C. Ford (2003), and V. C. Olsen (2003).

Cameron, Julia Margaret


Born June 11, 1815, in India; died Jan. 26, 1879, in Ceylon. English portrait photographer.

Cameron took up photography in 1863. As an amateur, she lacked the technical perfection of many professional photographers. However, she surpassed them in her depth of understanding of a subject’s individuality. She was particularly successful in revealing strong, intense characters. Her subjects, most of whom were friends of her family, included C. Darwin, T. Carlyle, J. F. W. Herschel, H. W. Longfellow, R. Browning, and A. Tennyson. Cameron’s photographs were characterized by soft focus, gentle facial modeling, and a sparse setting. Most of her negatives were destroyed in a fire.

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A generous and handsomely presented array of photographs is the primary attraction of art historian Boris Friedenwald's coffee table book, Women Photographers: From Julia Margaret Cameron to Cindy Sherman.
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El numero 29, correspondiente a marzo, esta ilustrado por Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1878), de quien refieren los editores: "Nacio en Calcuta y vivio desde 1818 en Francia y residio definitivamente en Londres desde 1848.
Julia Margaret Cameron (British, 1815-1879), Philip Stanhope Worsley (1835-1866), 1864-66.
Dr Brian Hinton, curator at the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust, said: "Perhaps some aboriginal tribes are correct in thinking, in a world increasingly subject to media distortion, that each time one's portrait is taken, a little piece of one's soul disappears.
Yet one of the notable features of this fine book is the range of Victorians who appear: from Mrs Beeton, Henry Bessemer and Julia Margaret Cameron to J.
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Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron won the praise of the British artistic and intellectual elite through her classic, nineteenth-century iconographic images of the great and the good.
More than 15,000 objects, including rare early cameras, cinematographic equipment and print-finishing items will be on display, together with photographs from Lewis Carroll, Fox Talbot, Jean Baptiste Sabatier-Blot and Julia Margaret Cameron.
Dimbola Lodge, created from two cottages linked by a central tower, is where the pioneer Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron set up home to be near her friend Tennyson of nearby Farring ford House.
Olsen, From Life: Julia Margaret Cameron and Victorian Photography.