Please complete the form to email this item.

May Day

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Isle of Wight, England (photographed)

  • Date:

    1866 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cameron, Julia Margaret, born 1815 - died 1879 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Alan S. Cole Esq., 1913.

  • Museum number:

    933-1913

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case MB2H, shelf DR6, box PHOTO

  • Download image

In her pioneering photography Julia Margaret Cameron pursued the Aesthetic ideal of 'art for art's sake', in which beauty is the only real purpose of art. In addition to her portraits of friends, family and eminent men, she made many photographs illustrating stories from literature, myth and folklore. This is an illustration to Tennyson's poem ' The May Queen'. The subject is the English rural custom of celebrating May Day with the crowning of a young and beautiful girl as the Queen of the May. As usual, Cameron's models are members of her family and her servants.

Physical description

A photograph of three young women (Kate Keown, Mary Hillier and Mary Ryan) and two children (Freddy Gould and unknown girl) surrounding a floral arrangement. The woman in the centre of the frame is wearing a flower garland.

Place of Origin

Isle of Wight, England (photographed)

Date

1866 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Cameron, Julia Margaret, born 1815 - died 1879 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative

Dimensions

height: 33.9 cm image, width: 28.6 cm image

Object history note

Gift of Alan S. Cole Esq., 19 April 1913.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, 'May Day' (sitters Kate Keown, Mary Hillier, Mary Ryan, Freddy Gould, unknown girl), albumen print, 1866

Exhibition History

19th Century Photography: Victorian Visions (Lady Lever Art Gallery 01/12/2007-16/03/2008)

Labels and date

Gallery 100, ‘History of photography’, 2011-2012, label text :
Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-79)
‘May Day’
About 1866

This is an illustration to Tennyson’s poem ‘The May
Queen’ (1832). The subject is the English rural custom
of celebrating May Day with the crowning of a young
and beautiful girl as the Queen of the May. As usual,
Cameron’s models are her servants and members of
her family.

Albumen print
Museum no. 933-1913
[07 03 2014]

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

Albumen process

Subjects depicted

Hillier, Mary Ann; Gould, William Frederick (Freddy); Ryan, Mary; Keown, Kate

Categories

Portraits; Photographs

Collection code

PDP

Download image
Qr_O69996
Ajax-loader