William Henry Fox Talbot

British, 1800–1877

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William Henry Fox Talbot

British, 1800–1877

200
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Biography

William Henry Fox Talbot was an accomplished scholar in mathematics and science, but is best remembered as a pioneer photographer and the inventor of photographic processes. During his honeymoon, Talbot became frustrated with the camera lucida and the camera obscura as tools for documentation, and decided to find a more accurate and automatic way of recording images found in nature. Talbot would become one of the first creators of photosensitive paper and printed photographs, the most famous of which were called calotypes. Because he experimented widely with processes with varying success, the calotype prints are among the few that were chemically stable and able to bear permanent images. Talbot’s primary rival was Louis Daguerre, who created a comparable photographic process known as the Daguerrotype.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
frieze
Biography

William Henry Fox Talbot was an accomplished scholar in mathematics and science, but is best remembered as a pioneer photographer and the inventor of photographic processes. During his honeymoon, Talbot became frustrated with the camera lucida and the camera obscura as tools for documentation, and decided to find a more accurate and automatic way of recording images found in nature. Talbot would become one of the first creators of photosensitive paper and printed photographs, the most famous of which were called calotypes. Because he experimented widely with processes with varying success, the calotype prints are among the few that were chemically stable and able to bear permanent images. Talbot’s primary rival was Louis Daguerre, who created a comparable photographic process known as the Daguerrotype.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
frieze
Articles Featuring William Henry Fox Talbot
Food Photography Didn’t Start on Instagram—Here’s Its 170-Year History
Jul 17th, 2017
Travel Back to 1839 to See the World’s First Photography Show, in Virtual Reality
May 16th, 2017
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