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Close Up & Personal: Victorians & Their Photographs

Close Up & Personal: Victorians & Their Photographs

14 June - 13 November 2016

Watts Gallery

The advent of photography in 1839 catapulted Victorian society into a new age of science, art and leisure. Previously only the wealthy could possess a painted portrait, but photography was cheaper and democratised the privilege of owning a likeness. A variety of forms soon emerged including the carte-de-visite, the daguerreotype, albumen prints, family photograph albums and stereoscopes.

This exhibition explores some of the ways that early photography was enjoyed by a society that quickly become obsessed with the new technology. See how the industry boomed and the culture of celebrity was born.

Close Up & Personal: Victorians & Their Photographs is an exciting new interactive exhibition of photography and photographic items from the Watts Gallery Collection, with loans from London Stereoscopic Company. See images of Victorian celebrities, and discover the rise of photography as art through the images of Julia Margaret Cameron and Henry Holiday. Interact with stereoscopic viewers (the first 3D photographic technique), and take a Victorian-style selfie.



24 June: Watts at Dusk: Camera Obscura

16 July: Watts Academy Workshop: Pinhole Cameras

25 July: Study Day: Victorian Stereoscopes

29 July: Watts at Dusk: Light & Shadow

4, 11, 18, 25 August: Free Family Drop-in: Photography Studio

19 August: One Day Workshop: Photography

25 August: Curator Breakfast Tour

12, 19, 26 Sept, 3, 10 October: Five Week History of Art & Design Course: Photography in the Victorian Age

12 October: Evening Talk: The Dawn of Photography - From the Camera Obscura to the Kodak Brownie with Rob Dickins

Exhibition Resources

If you have visited the exhibition and would like more information please use the following documents: exhibition interpretation with examples of a selection of objects, a glossary and timeline of photography and a bibliography with suggestions for further reading.

'Close Up & Personal' Interpretation Download
'Close Up & Personal' Glossary and Timeline Download
'Close Up & Personal' Bibliography Download