Salt and Silver: Early Photography, 1840–1860


This summer, the Center will showcase a selection of salted paper prints, one of the earliest forms of photography and a British invention. Featuring more than one hundred seldom-displayed salt prints on loan from the Wilson Centre for Photography in London, the exhibition will provide visitors with an opportunity to see some of the earliest photographs in the world.

The salted paper process was pioneered by the English scientist and scholar William Henry Fox Talbot and unveiled in Britain in 1839. This exhibition will survey the first twenty-five years of photography’s evolution through this process and examine how, for a short but significant time, Talbot’s scientific and artistic breakthrough created a new visual experience that inspired generations of photographers. The technique—which used simple compounds of salt and silver—was efficient, portable, and versatile, allowing its practice to spread around the world. Many photographers adopted this method from the 1840s onward, and this display will feature more than forty of its practitioners, tracing their networks and geographical reach from England into Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, India, and North America.

Start Date
Thursday, June 28, 2018
End Date
Sunday, September 9, 2018
Yale Center for British Art

Salt and Silver: Early Photography, 1840–1860

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