Julia Margaret Cameron

British, 1815–1879

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Biography

One of the early pioneers of photographic portraiture, Julia Margaret Cameron began her career at the age of 48. “From the first moment, I handled my lens with a tender ardor," she wrote, "and it has become to me as a living thing, with voice and memory and creative vigor." Cameron trained herself to master the laborious steps of producing negatives with wet collodion on glass plates, favoring slight blurs in her images and looser compositions than the polished portraits of her colleagues. She moved in the high intellectual circles of Victorian England, capturing leading academics and artists such as Lord Tennyson and Charles Darwin. Many critics praised her originality, though others derided her for slovenly technique. Drawing inspiration from historical and contemporary writers and painters, Cameron also staged scenes from history or literature, such as her photographic illustrations of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, and regularly enlisted family members, friends, and domestic servants as models for Madonnas, Christ figures, and angels

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 8 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta
Articles Featuring Julia Margaret Cameron
How Women Artists in Victorian England Pushed Photography Forward
May 31st, 2018
11 Women Photographers Who Shaped the Medium
Nov 19th, 2015
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