Welcome Back to London Julia Margaret Cameron (June 11, 1815-January 26, 1879)

Julia Margaret Cameron and her daughter 
Julia Hay Cameron by Unknown Photographer, 1845
Dimbola Lodge, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, UK
National Media Museum, UK

With the arrival of two exhibits featuring the photography of British Nineteenth-Century Photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron, I wanted to share with you a brief description of both exhibits and links to them. Hopefully, you will have an opportunity to visit either or both of these exhibits. If you do, email me (kimmymuses@gmail.com) and please tell me all about it. I would greatly appreciate it. 

The above photograph is mine. I took it back in July of this year when I visited Mrs. Cameron's home, Dimbola Lodge on the Isle of Wight. Now an operating museum. On the first landing and top floor of Dimbola when you reach the top of the staircase and make that right hand turn to go down the corridor that leads you to her bedroom, you cast your eyes forward and are greeted with this beautifully captured mother/daughter moment. A rare photograph indeed. 
The card below the photograph reads: 

This is a copy of a rare daguerreotype of Julia aged 29 with her 7 year old daughter on her knee. Two inscriptions on the back of the image adds to its poignancy-one by the daughter, 'Feb.10th 1845. This for me to keep', and then-possibly added by her mother at a later date-'Given to my Julia by her request-her own choice.' Julia Hay Cameron died in childbirth in her early 30s, at which point the print appears to have been returned to her mother.  National Media Museum

Image: National Media Museum-Julia Margaret Cameron exhibit 

In the image above, encased in glass are two photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron at various stages of her life. In the center at the top is her camera lens and below it is her handwritten copy of what would have been a book she was writing on, 'Annals of My Glass House'. The history preserved in this one case alone is astonishing. Personally, I would love to be able to hold and read her personal writings of 'Glass House'. Who knows maybe one day! 

If you visit London and check out the Science Museum (National Media Museum) between now and March of 2016, you will find the above case waiting for your view.  Also, a brief overview of this fantastic exhibit, 

Julia Margaret Cameron: Influence and Intimacy (24/09/2015-28/03/2015)

Discover the vibrant life and works of pioneering photographer Julia Margaret Cameron in our new exhibition, Julia Margaret Cameron: Influence and Intimacy, marking the 200th anniversary of her birth.

Drawn entirely from the world-class National Photography Collection, the exhibition features the Herschel Album (1864), a sequence of 94 images which Cameron considered to be her finest work to date. 

Compiled by Cameron as a gift for her friend and mentor, the scientist Sir John Herschel, the album is comprised of Cameron’s bold, expressive portraits of influential friends, acquaintances and family members, including Alfred Tennyson and William Holman Hunt. 

The exhibition will also include rare images and objects such as the late photographs taken in Sri Lanka, her camera lens – the only surviving piece of her photographic equipment – and handwritten notes from her autobiography.- National Media Museum

For more information and exhibit details, Science Museum

Image from Victoria and Albert Museum

The second exhibit is a major one and much anticipated. It runs from 28 November 2015 - 21 February 2016. To mark the bicentenary of the birth of Julia Margaret Cameron (1815 - 1879), one of the most important and experimental photographers of the 19th century, the V&A will present over 100 of her photographs from the Museum’s collection-V&A.

This is the exhibit to catch by any means possible.  You see, one of Mrs. Cameron's first photograph exhibits made during her own lifetime, by much of her own means, was at a museum called, South Kensington Museum. Today, the old South Kensington Museum is better known as Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Well, just read her own words,

‘I write to ask you if you will… exhibit at the South Kensington Museum a set of Prints of my late series of Photographs that I intend should electrify you with delight and startle the world’
– Julia Margaret Cameron to Henry Cole, 21 February 1866

So, you see it is a fact that pioneering photographer, wife and mother, is coming home. Now, I just want to add one of my favorite photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron sitting with her daughter, Julia Hay Cameron reading...

Double portrait of Julia Margaret Cameron left sitting reading with a book on her lap
her daughter Julia Hay Cameron holds her hand sits at her side eyes closed
listening to her mother read to her. 
This photograph is believed to have been taken in the garden of 
Little Holland House around the time of her daughter, 'Juley's' engagement to
Charles Norman around 1858-9. Unknown photographer.

For more information on the Julia Margaret Cameron exhibit, V&A Museum


Hels said…
Great timing! The Julia Margaret Cameron exhibition just finished at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Even for those viewers who were familiar with her photographic art, the colonial connections were fascinating.
Kimberly Eve said…
I hope that you were able to go to the exhibit in New South Wales. Thanks so much for commenting, Hels.