Mrs. Craik Holding Cat

A work made of salted paper print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of salted paper print.

Date:

c. 1858

Artist:

Attributed to Benjamin Mulock (English, 1829–1863)
English, 19th century

About this artwork

Dinah Mulock Craik, a prolific English novelist and poet, was the subject of a series of over 25 photographs now in the Art Institute’s collection. These portraits range from typical studio sittings to more casual photographs of Mrs. Craik in her garden; it is possible that at least some of them were produced by her younger brother, Benjamin Mulock, who learned photography (and later died in an asylum in 1863). In Victorian England, amateur photography required a knowledge of chemistry and optics, funds to purchase equipment and chemicals, and ample leisure time to experiment. Happy accidents often resulted in these early photographs, such as the appearance here of a two-headed cat, the result of the cat moving its head during the lengthy exposure demanded by early photographic technology.

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Photography

Artist

Benjamin Mulock

Title

Mrs. Craik Holding Cat

Origin

England

Date

1853–1863

Medium

Salted paper print

Dimensions

11.7 × 9.6 cm (image/paper)

Credit Line

Harriott A. Fox Endowment

Reference Number

1970.852

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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