Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Women's History Month: Julia Margaret Cameron


In honor of Women's History Month, I will be doing special posts in honor of women throughout history. One of which will be: every Wednesday in the month of March I will profile an extraordinary woman who you may not have heard of. Today's profile is on:

Julia Margaret Cameron

Name: Julia Margaret Cameron
DOB/DOD: June 11, 1815 - January 26, 1879
Nationality: British
Occupation: Photographer
What she was known for: Her portraits of celebrities and Arthurian themes.

Cameron's photography career was relatively short. She began in 1868 when she received a camera as a present. It started out as a hobby, but she soon ended up joining the Photographic Societies of London and Scotland. Most of her photographs had a dreamy, soft-focus effect. Her closely cropped portraits are still mimicked today.

Her favorite subjects to photograph included her niece Julia Prinsep Stephen (mother of Virginia Woolf), Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Ellen Terry, among others. Tennyson even asked her to photograph illustrations for his Idylls of the King.

The Angel at the Sepulchre, 1869, by Julia Margaret Cameron

We are lucky that so many of Cameron's photographs still exist. The cause of this is the fact that Cameron would register each of her photos with the copyright office. It would have been a shame to have missed out on her great work.

View some of her work here and here.

There are a number of books about her and that show off her photographs. Some of them are:

In Focus: Julia Margaret Cameron: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum

The Gardener's Daughter, 1867, by Julia Margaret Cameron


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Charleybrown said...

Interesting and beautiful photos! I'd never heard of her and it's neat to hear who she knew at the time. Call me naive but I didn't think they had so many photos from that time! Thanks for the post!

Lisa said...

The Angel at the Sepulchre is a magnificent piece of artwork for any era. Imagine getting that from a photograph over 100 years ago-amazing!