Lady Hawarden: Studies from Life, 1857-1864

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9780893818159: Lady Hawarden: Studies from Life, 1857-1864

A major retrospective of one of the earliest women photographers.

Lady Clementina Hawarden was a well-regarded portrait photographer of the 1860s. Lewis Carroll praised and collected her pictures, which predated even the work of her better-known contemporary Julia Margaret Cameron, and art historians contend that her photographs influenced Whistler's portrait paintings.

In 1859, Hawarden took up her camera. In Ireland, and later in London, she photographed her two oldest daughters masquerading in lavish costumes and acting out mysterious dramas. Though Hawarden and her daughters were, like most women of their day, bound by home and hearth, in these enigmatic pictures they imagine themselves transformed.

After Hawarden's death at the age of forty-two, her work fell into oblivion until the 1930s, when the Victoria and Albert Museum inherited from her family 775 of her photographs. This spring, the museum will open a comprehensive exhibition of the work of this rediscovered master. At last, the pictures are receiving their due attention. In light of Sally Mann's provocative photographs of her own children and the costume changes of Cindy Sherman's film stills, the relevance of Hawarden's telling portraits can now be fully appreciated.

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About the Author:

Marina Warner is a cultural historian whose books include Alone of All Her Sex.

Virginia Dodier is a supervisor in the Museum of Modern Art library.

Mark Haworth-Booth is Keeper of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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