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Distributed for Bodleian Library Publishing

Sarah Angelina Acland

First Lady of Colour Photography

Sarah Angelina Acland (1849–1930) is one of the most important photographers of the late Victorian and early Edwardian periods. Born to a preeminent English family, Acland first gained note as a portraitist whose illustrious subjects—among them two prime ministers, the physicist Lord Kelvin, and the noted art critic John Ruskin—were visitors to her family’s Oxford home. Yet it was through her work in the thenfledgling field of color photography that Acland achieved her greatest acclaim. When her color photographs were shown at the Royal Photographic Society in 1905, many considered them to be among the finest work produced in the new medium.

An introduction to Acland’s entire body of work, this volume contains more than two hundred previously unpublished examples of her photographs, spanning portraiture, studies of Oxford architecture, and landscape and garden photographs captured in Madeira, Portugal. Additional images include four unrecorded portraits by Lewis Carroll of Acland and her brothers—shed light on the work of her contemporaries, including acquaintances and artistic influences like Carroll and Julia Margaret Cameron. A fascinating look at the earliest days of color photography, this book also offers a glimpse into the lives of an influential English family and its circle of friends.

304 pages | 124 color plates, 188 halftone | 9 3/4 x 11 | © 2012

Art: Photography

Biography and Letters

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"This book establishes Sarah Angelina Acland as an important participant in the emerging colour processes at the turn of the twentieth century, and I am confident she would approve of the thoroughness of her dedicated biographer."

Royal Photographic Society

"An abbreviated catalogue raisonné of 220 of Sarah Angelina Acland’s 1,000 images, this book increases one’s knowledge of this important photographic era, especially of the active involvement of women and the upper class. . . . A significant addition to the field."


“The beautiful plates and Giles Hudson’s meticulously researched text make this a collector’s item every library should own.”

Woman's Art Journal

“Sarah Angelina Acland is one of the most important photographers of the late Victorian and early Edwardian periods. . . . This volume provides an introduction to [her] photography, with more than two-hundred examples of her work, from portraits to picturesque views of the gardens of Madeira. Some fifty unpublished specimens of the photographic art and science of her peers are also reproduced from the Bodleian collections. . . . The photographs not only shed important light on the history of photography in the period, but also offer a fascinating insight into the lives of a pre-eminent English family and their circle of friends.”

Photo Review

Table of Contents

Art, Science and the Acland Family of Oxford
An Oxford Education in Photography, 1849 to 1891
First Photographs
Portraiture after Cameron and Carroll
The Oxford Camera Club
Orthochromatic Photography and the Cadett Spectrum Plate
The Sanger Shepherd Process of Natural Colour Photography
The Autochrome and Other Screen-plate Processes
Last Years and Legacy

Monochrome Photographs
Colour Photographs
    Kromaz and Kromskop Plates
    Sanger Shepherd Process
    Autochrome Plates
    Omnicolore Plates
    Dufay Dioptichrome Plates
    Paget Colour Plates

Select Bibliography
Acknowledgements and Figures Sources

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