Amateurs, Photography, and the Mid-Victorian Imagination

Grace Seiberling

Amateurs, Photography, and the Mid-Victorian Imagination
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Grace Seiberling

With Clarolyn Bloore
206 pages | 100 halftones | 8-1/2 x 11 | © 1986
Cloth $80.00 ISBN: 9780226744988 Published May 1986
In 1851, when photographs were first shown at the Great Exhibition of Arts and Industry, photography was primarily a hobby for well-to-do amateurs. These early photographers were members of the intellectual and aristocratic elite. They had the means, the education, and the leisure to pursue this new art-science with ardent seriousness. They formed societies, such as the Photographic Society and the Photographic Exchange Club, and published journals for the purpose of sharing their discoveries, exchanging photographs, and publicizing the medium. In this highly original and sensitive book about the birth and transformation of photography in Victorian England, Grace Seiberling explores the work of thirty-three amateur photographers. She describes how they affected the development of the medium and set technical, subject, and compositional standards for future generations of photographers.
1. Introduction: The Amateurs
2. Process and Progress: Technical Advances and New Perceptions
3. The Viewer and the Viewed: Imagery of the Amateurs
4. The Rise of the Professional
5. The Transformation of Amateur Photography
6. Epilogue: The Amateur in the Later Nineteenth Century
Technical Appendix
Biographical Appendix
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