England Expects Every Man to do His Duty

Photograph
ca. 1870 (photographed)
England Expects Every Man to do His Duty thumbnail 1
England Expects Every Man to do His Duty thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 512M
Artist/Maker

Photo-collage and album-making were common practice among aristocratic Victorian women during the nineteenth century. The often humorous and varied compositions were informed by shared cultural values and common pastimes. Albums usually featured cut-up cartes-de-visite portraits which were pasted into re-imagined watercolour scenes, painted by the album makers. Women compiling the albums did not normally take the photographs.
Cartes-de-visites, introduced in 1854, were small-format, commercially produced photographs mounted onto card that became extremely popular in the 1860s. They were inexpensive and abundantly available, which made them appropriate for cutting and pasting in photo-collage. Photographic albums served both private and public functions. They were places for personal expression and they demonstrated a woman’s worldly accomplishments and artistic abilities. But, they also acted as a source of entertainment for guests in the drawing room with their witty or fantastical scenes. Unfinished pages were common and showed that photo-collage albums were often long-term projects that required a lot of time and effort.

Kate Edith Gough (neé Hoare) was one of fourteen children and was born in Surbiton, Surrey, in 1856. Her father Thomas had a successful paint and varnish business which enabled the Hoares a comfortable middle-class status. When Kate was 23 she married Hugh Gough, a Royal Navy officer who served in the late 1870s. Her husband was often away and she had no children, so Gough spent much of her time with her sisters. They visited art exhibitions and theatres in London, and regularly travelled abroad.

Gough’s sister, Ethel, kept detailed diaries which are a rich source of information about Gough’s life. Together, they participated in various activities such as sketching, lawn tennis and horse riding. These experiences in her daily life inspired the painted stages and narratives of the photo-collages in this album. Like her fellow upper-class woman of the late 1800s, Gough pasted images of her family and surroundings onto the album’s pages, whilst referencing popular thought and literature. The album remained in her care until her death in 1948. It was donated to the V&A by her nephew in 1963.


References

Hudak, Brittany. “Assembling identity: The photo-collage album of Kate E. Gough (1856-1948)” Master’s thesis, University of Cincinnati, 2004.
Siegel, Elizabeth. Playing with Pictures – The Art of Victorian Photocollage. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2009.
Weiss, Marta. “Dressed Up and Pasted Down: Staged Photography in the Victorian Album” PhD diss., Princeton University, 2008.



object details
Object Type
Additional TitleMan and woman at ship's wheel (alternative title)
Brief Description
Photo-collage from album of photographs belonging to Mrs. Kate Edith Gough, 'England Expects Every Man to do His Duty', albumen print and watercolour, late 19th century.
Physical Description
A photographic album containing 56 pages depicting photo-collages and watercolour drawings.
Dimensions
  • Album cover height: 373mm
  • Album cover width: 285mm
Credit line
Given by Guy Eardley-Wilmot, nephew of Kate E. Gough
Summary
Photo-collage and album-making were common practice among aristocratic Victorian women during the nineteenth century. The often humorous and varied compositions were informed by shared cultural values and common pastimes. Albums usually featured cut-up cartes-de-visite portraits which were pasted into re-imagined watercolour scenes, painted by the album makers. Women compiling the albums did not normally take the photographs.

Cartes-de-visites, introduced in 1854, were small-format, commercially produced photographs mounted onto card that became extremely popular in the 1860s. They were inexpensive and abundantly available, which made them appropriate for cutting and pasting in photo-collage. Photographic albums served both private and public functions. They were places for personal expression and they demonstrated a woman’s worldly accomplishments and artistic abilities. But, they also acted as a source of entertainment for guests in the drawing room with their witty or fantastical scenes. Unfinished pages were common and showed that photo-collage albums were often long-term projects that required a lot of time and effort.



Kate Edith Gough (neé Hoare) was one of fourteen children and was born in Surbiton, Surrey, in 1856. Her father Thomas had a successful paint and varnish business which enabled the Hoares a comfortable middle-class status. When Kate was 23 she married Hugh Gough, a Royal Navy officer who served in the late 1870s. Her husband was often away and she had no children, so Gough spent much of her time with her sisters. They visited art exhibitions and theatres in London, and regularly travelled abroad.



Gough’s sister, Ethel, kept detailed diaries which are a rich source of information about Gough’s life. Together, they participated in various activities such as sketching, lawn tennis and horse riding. These experiences in her daily life inspired the painted stages and narratives of the photo-collages in this album. Like her fellow upper-class woman of the late 1800s, Gough pasted images of her family and surroundings onto the album’s pages, whilst referencing popular thought and literature. The album remained in her care until her death in 1948. It was donated to the V&A by her nephew in 1963.





References



Hudak, Brittany. “Assembling identity: The photo-collage album of Kate E. Gough (1856-1948)” Master’s thesis, University of Cincinnati, 2004.

Siegel, Elizabeth. Playing with Pictures – The Art of Victorian Photocollage. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2009.

Weiss, Marta. “Dressed Up and Pasted Down: Staged Photography in the Victorian Album” PhD diss., Princeton University, 2008.



Bibliographic Reference
See Nominal File 63/2335
Collection
Accession Number
835-1963

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJune 30, 2009
Record URL