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Photograph - Carved and Gilt frame Venetian date about 1690, Mr. John Webb
  • Carved and Gilt frame Venetian date about 1690, Mr. John Webb
    Thompson, Charles Thurston, born 1816 - died 1868
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Carved and Gilt frame Venetian date about 1690, Mr. John Webb

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    London (photographed)

  • Date:

    1853 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Thompson, Charles Thurston, born 1816 - died 1868 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    albumen print

  • Museum number:

    39832

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 37, box D

In 1853, Charles Thurston Thompson, the first Official Photographer of the South Kensington Museum (later the V&A), was commissioned to photograph a loan exhibition of furniture at Gore House, London. It was the first of many photographic campaigns documenting temporary loan exhibitions that were to become a hallmark of the Museum's photographic service. Such loan objects were photographed prior to their return to lenders so that photographic copies could be sold to designers, craftsmen and students, and also filed in the Museum's library for study. Thompson inadvertently included himself and his camera, reflected in the mirror. It gives us a vivid glimpse of a photographer at work outdoors - in the garden at Gore House - in the early days of the Museum and the profession of Museum Photography.

Physical description

A sepia-coloured mounted photograph of the top half of an ornately carved mirror and frame. The camera and the photographer are visible in the reflection.

Place of Origin

London (photographed)

Date

1853 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Thompson, Charles Thurston, born 1816 - died 1868 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

albumen print

Descriptive line

Photograph by Charles Thurston Thompson, 'Carved and Gilt frame Venetian date about 1690, Mr. John Webb', albumen print, 1853

Labels and date

Charles Thurston Thompson (1816–68)
Venetian Mirror, about 1700
Carved and Gilt Frame, Venetian,
date about 1690
Both 1853

Thurston Thompson was the first official
photographer of the South Kensington Museum
(the original name of the V&A). He documented
works that were on loan to the Museum, such as
this Venetian mirror. By recording his reflection
and that of his camera as well as the frame’s
intricate carvings, he revealed the process of
making images such as these.

Albumen prints
Museum nos. 39833, 32832 [23/7/2016-5/3/2017]

Techniques

Photography

Subjects depicted

Mirrors; Cameras

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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