Hedgerow Trees, Clerkenleap, Worcestershire thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F , Case X, Shelf 354, Box C

Hedgerow Trees, Clerkenleap, Worcestershire

Photograph
1852-1854 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Benjamin Turner was one of the first, and remains one of the greatest, British amateur photographers. He began practising photography in 1849 according to the technique patented in 1841 by the British inventor W. H. Fox Talbot (1800-1877). Turner's photographs were 'contact' printed from paper negatives (known as calotypes) of the same size as the print. He printed them on albumen paper, which is paper that has been floated on an emulsion of egg white containing light-sensitive silver salts. Between 1852 and 1854 Turner compiled 60 of his own photographs, including this one, in what is believed to be a unique album, 'Photographic Views from Nature'. It might have been a sample book, a convenient method for presenting photographs for personal pleasure, and for showing to colleagues or potential exhibitors. It remained in the Turner family until it was bought by the Museum.

This is the only photograph in Turner's album to include a human figure, seen here leaning against a fence and a pollarded oak tree. The figure may be Turner himself. Turner's decision to exclude figures from the majority of the rural views he made for exhibition was deliberate, but it was a departure from the established tradition. Figures in contemporary dress would have made Turner's photographs historically specific; without figures they have a timeless quality.
interact Benjamin Brecknell Turner's 'Photographic Views from Nature'
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Albumen print from calotype negative
Brief Description
Photograph by Benjamin Brecknell Turner, 'Hedgerow Trees, Clerkenleap, Worcestershire', 1853-4, albumen print
Physical Description
Photograph
Dimensions
  • Height: 28.9cm
  • Width: 38.4cm
  • Framed height: 58cm
  • Framed width: 68cm
  • Framed depth: 205cm
Subjects depicted
Summary
Benjamin Turner was one of the first, and remains one of the greatest, British amateur photographers. He began practising photography in 1849 according to the technique patented in 1841 by the British inventor W. H. Fox Talbot (1800-1877). Turner's photographs were 'contact' printed from paper negatives (known as calotypes) of the same size as the print. He printed them on albumen paper, which is paper that has been floated on an emulsion of egg white containing light-sensitive silver salts. Between 1852 and 1854 Turner compiled 60 of his own photographs, including this one, in what is believed to be a unique album, 'Photographic Views from Nature'. It might have been a sample book, a convenient method for presenting photographs for personal pleasure, and for showing to colleagues or potential exhibitors. It remained in the Turner family until it was bought by the Museum.



This is the only photograph in Turner's album to include a human figure, seen here leaning against a fence and a pollarded oak tree. The figure may be Turner himself. Turner's decision to exclude figures from the majority of the rural views he made for exhibition was deliberate, but it was a departure from the established tradition. Figures in contemporary dress would have made Turner's photographs historically specific; without figures they have a timeless quality.
Bibliographic Reference
Roger Taylor, Impressed by Light: British photographs from paper negatives, 1840-1860 New York : Metropolitan Museum of Art ; Washington : National Gallery of Art ; New Haven ; London : Yale University Press, c2007. 9781588392251 (Metropolitan Museum of Art (hc)) 1588392252 (Metropolitan Museum of Art (hc)) 9780300124057 (Yale University Press (hc)) 0300124058 (Yale University Press (hc)).
Collection
Accession Number
PH.13-1982

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record createdFebruary 25, 2003
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