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Kate Dore

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Isle of Wight (photographed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1864 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cameron, Julia Margaret, born 1815 - died 1879 (photographer)
    Rejlander, Oscar Gustav, born 1813 - died 1887 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print; the ferns added by the photogram technique

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Margaret Southam, 1941

  • Museum number:

    PH.258-1982

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2A, shelf DR82

O.G. Rejlander visited the Isle of Wight in the early 1860s, photographing members of the Tennyson and Cameron households. It is believed that Julia Margaret Cameron either worked in collaboration with Rejlander and/or printed this work. To do so, Cameron placed ferns between the paper and one of Rejlander’s negatives. The ferns printed as white, forming a frame around the portrait. It shows Cameron’s experimental nature and provides a glimpse of her photographic practice before she acquired a camera.

Physical description

A photograph of a young woman (Kate Dore) taken in 3/4 profile, her hair is loose. The edges of the photograph have images of ferns produced using the photogram technique.

Place of Origin

Isle of Wight (photographed)

Date

ca. 1864 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Cameron, Julia Margaret, born 1815 - died 1879 (photographer)
Rejlander, Oscar Gustav, born 1813 - died 1887 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print; the ferns added by the photogram technique

Dimensions

Height: 19.6 cm, Width: 15 cm

Object history note

This print is a photogram, a technique of making a picture without a camera or lens. Photograms are made by placing objects on top of a piece of photographic paper and then exposing the composition to light. In this example, ferns were placed in contact with the glass negative prior to printing-out in sunlight.

This appears to be unique in Cameron's oeuvre, as she did not use photogram techniques elsewhere in her work. However, it is typical of her iconoclastic and experimental methods. She embellished a portrait, known to be by Oscar Rejlander, by placing ferns between the negative and the printing paper. The ferns, printing as white, perhaps symbolise the delicate sensibility of the young woman, and perhaps her 'naturalness'.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Oscar Gustave Rejlander in collaboration with Julia Margaret Cameron, 'Kate Dore with Photogram Frame of Ferns', albumen print, ca. 1862

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

fig. 78, p. 104
Cox, Julian and Colin Ford, with contributions by Joanne Lukitsh and Philippa Wright. Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs. London: Thames & Hudson, in association with The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles and The National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Bradford, 2003. ISBN: 0-500-54265-1

Labels and date

Julia Margaret Cameron: A Bicentenary Exhibition

Oscar Gustaf Rejlander (1813–75), printed by Julia Margaret Cameron
Kate Dore
About 1862

O.G. Rejlander visited the Isle of Wight in the early 1860s, photographing members of the Tennyson and Cameron households. To make this print, Cameron placed ferns between the paper and one of Rejlander’s negatives. The ferns printed as white, forming a frame around the portrait. It shows Cameron’s experimental nature and provides a glimpse of her photographic practice before she acquired a camera.

Given by Mrs Margaret Southam, 1941
Museum no. PH.258-1982
[18 November 2014 – 25 September 2016]

Materials

Photographic paper; Material

Techniques

Albumen process; Photogram

Subjects depicted

Ferns; Girl; Portraits; Peasants

Categories

Photographs; Portraits

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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