About This Artwork

David Octavius Hill (Scottish, 1802–1870) and
Robert Adamson (Scottish, 1821–1848)

Mrs. Anna Brownell Jameson, 1844

Salted paper print
21 x 15.5 cm (image); 21.8 x 16.2 cm (paper); 35 x 28 cm (mount)

Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949.687

In 1843 David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson formed a fortuitous partnership that resulted in one of the first marriages of photography and fine art. Hill, a painter and illustrator, found an efficient means of recording the likenesses of his subjects in the newly invented calotype process, which Adamson had begun practicing professionally earlier that year. Using paper for negatives as well as prints, they obtained relatively fast results and a slightly blurred, painterly image. Pictorialist photographers around the turn of the century looked back to these early processes, admiring the grainy textures and rich tonality that signaled artistic expression; photographer and dealer Alfred Stieglitz twice published this print in his celebrated photography journal Camera Work. The image depicts Anna Brownell Jameson, a writer and art historian, in the sort of natural pose Hill excelled at creating. For more on the Alfred Stieglitz collection at the Art Institute, along with in-depth object information, please visit the website: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection.

Interpretive Resources

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