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A Perfect Chemistry: Photographs by Hill and Adamson



By: Anne M. Lyden(Author)

Language: English

Genre: Other books

Publisher: National Galleries of Scotland (15 Feb. 2018)

Format: pdf doc docx mobi djvu epub ibooks (*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.)

The original title of the book: A Perfect Chemistry: Photographs by Hill and Adamson

  • This is one of the world's most important collections of early photography, featuring numerous views of Edinburgh, its development and its inhabitants
  • The book accompanies an exhibition to be held at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh from 27 May to 1 October 2017
  • Some of the first examples of social documentary photography
  • Featuring sumptuous, high-quality, full-colour plates

  • Pioneering Edinburgh photographers David Octavius Hill (1802-1870) and Robert Adamson (1821-1848) together formed one of the most famous partnerships in the history of photography. Producing highly skilled photographs just four years after the new medium was announced to the world in 1839, their images of people, buildings and scenes in and around Edinburgh offer a fascinating glimpse into 1840s Scotland. Their much-loved prints of the Newhaven fisherfolk are among the first images of social documentary photography.

    In the space of four and a half years Hill and Adamson produced several thousand prints encompassing landscapes, architectural views, tableaux vivants from Scottish literature and an impressive suite of portraits featuring key members of Edinburgh society. Anne M. Lyden, International Photography Curator at the National Galleries of Scotland, discusses the dynamic dispute that brought these two men together and reveals their perfect chemistry as the first professional partnership in Scottish photography.

    Illustrated with around 100 masterpieces from the Galleries' unique, vast collection of the duo's groundbreaking work, this book accompanies an exhibition, to be held at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh from 27 May to 1 October 2017.

The chemistry celebrated here is the photographic process- calotypes achieved by complex, cumbersome, unpredictable methods of applying light-sensitive chemical solutions to paper- pioneered in Victorian Edinburgh, and also the partnership, from 1844-48, between two innovators: the engineer Robert Adamson and the painter David Octavius Hill. --Financial TimesThe meeting of the two men resulted in the 'perfect chemistry' to which the title of this exhibition refers. Despite being 19 years apart in age and from wildly different backgrounds, they forged a partnership which would change the face of photography. For the next four-and-a-half years, until their collaboration was cut short by Adamson s death, they would work and live together, taking a fledgling invention and turning it into an art form.It's like being afforded a glimpse, at last, into Hill and Adamson s world, that place of endless ingenuity and ideas and hard work and it seems a robust sense of humour. It is, however, a brief glimpse: most of those moments remain outside the frame. --The ScotsmanOnly four years after the invention of photography was announced to the world in 1839, two Scots had mastered the new medium and were producing works of breathtaking skill in extraordinary quantities.A Perfect Chemistry explores the uniquely productive and influential partnership of David Octavius Hill (1802-1870) and Robert Adamson (1821-1848), which lasted a few short years from 1843 until early 1848. These stunning images, which belie the almost unimaginable technical challenges faced by the duo, are arguably among the first examples of social documentary in the history of photography. --Fest

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