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The Tree Fern, Prize Photo

A work made of albumen silver print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of albumen silver print.




Samuel Bourne
English, 1834–1912

About this artwork

Samuel Bourne learned photography in England, where he was active in the Nottingham Photographic Society, but it was in India that he made his photographic reputation. He arrived in Calcutta in early 1863, and published his adventures there as a series of articles in the British Journal of Photography. Bourne remained in India for seven years, producing—often under difficult conditions—over 2,500 architectural and landscape views of the Himalayan mountains and foothills, particularly around the town of Simla. Although a period ink inscription on the mount indicates that this image of a tree fern was a “prize photo,” the prize that Bourne won remains a mystery.


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Photography and Media


Samuel Bourne


The Tree Fern, Prize Photo


England (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1863


Albumen silver print


29.6 × 24.4 cm (11 11/16 × 9 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

The Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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