The Bodleian Libraries launch season of photography exhibitions with A New Power: Photography in Britain 1800-1850
On the 1st of February the Bodleian Libraries opened their 2023 photography season with the new exhibition A New Power: Photography in Britain 1800-1850.
Following the appointment of the first photography curator in the Bodleian’s 421-year history, the Libraries celebrates its recent major photography acquisitions alongside its wider photography collections with two exhibitions. Recently, the Bodleian have been expanding their extensive photographic archive through the acquisition of collections such as the Bern Schwartz archive, the archives of William Henry Fox Talbot, the archives of Helen Muspratt and Daniel Meadows, and material from the Hyman collection of 20th-century British photography.
A New Power gathers an unprecedented array of objects and photographic materials, providing a fascinating insight into the role of photography in the British Empire. Comprising over 160 items, the exhibition gathers the early history of the medium, starting with its invention and the earliest dissemination of photographic images in Britain and culminating with the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Example photographs in the exhibition include an early stereoscopic photograph of the pyramids at Giza, a group portrait of Queen Victoria with her children in which she the queen personally smudged out her photographic portrait and an image of Ira Aldridge, an African-American actor who performed in plays by Shakespeare and would give anti-slavery speeches after his performances.
For further information, please visit https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/event/a-new-power