Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C , Case CAT, Shelf EXP

Pomona

Photograph
1872 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) was
the only museum to collect and exhibit Julia Margaret
Cameron’s photographs during her lifetime. This is one
of several studies she made of Alice Liddell, who as a
child had modelled for the author and photographer
Lewis Carroll and inspired his novel Alice’s Adventures
in Wonderland. Cameron, Carroll and Liddell moved
in overlapping artistic and intellectual circles.
Here, surrounded by foliage, a grown-up Alice poses as
the Roman goddess of orchards and gardens.
read The real Alice in Wonderland Not everything in 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' was conjured from Lewis Carroll's imagination. Stubborn, precocious and curious, the character of Alice was based on a real little girl named Alice Liddell, with a brunette bob and short fringe.
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Albumen print
Brief Description
Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, 'Pomona' (sitter Alice Liddell), albumen print, 1872
Physical Description
Photograph of a women with loose hair and fringe photographed standing against a wall of foliage, from the waist up.
Dimensions
  • Mount height: 610mm
  • Mount width: 508mm
Style
Gallery Label
Photography Centre 2018-20: Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79) Pomona 1872 The South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) was the only museum to collect and exhibit Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs during her lifetime. This is one of several studies she made of Alice Liddell, who as a child had modelled for the author and photographer Lewis Carroll and inspired his novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Cameron, Carroll and Liddell moved in overlapping artistic and intellectual circles. Here, surrounded by foliage, a grown-up Alice poses as the Roman goddess of orchards and gardens. Albumen print Museum no. RPS.998-2017
Credit line
The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the V&A, acquired with the generous assistance of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Art Fund.
Object history
Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79) was one of the most important and innovative photographers of the 19th century. Her photographs were rule-breaking: purposely out of focus, and often including scratches, smudges and other traces of the artist’s process. Best known for her powerful portraits, she also posed her sitters – friends, family and servants – as characters from biblical, historical or allegorical stories.



Born in Calcutta on 11 June 1815, the fourth of seven sisters, her father was an East India Company official and her mother descended from French aristocracy. Educated mainly in France, Cameron returned to India in 1834.



In 1842, the British astronomer Sir John Herschel (1792 – 1871) introduced Cameron to photography, sending her examples of the new invention. They had met in 1836 while Cameron was convalescing from an illness in the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. He remained a life-long friend and correspondent on technical photographic matters. That same year she met Charles Hay Cameron (1795–1880), 20 years her senior, a reformer of Indian law and education. They married in Calcutta in 1838 and she became a prominent hostess in colonial society. A decade later, the Camerons moved to England. By then they had four children; two more were born in England. Several of Cameron’s sisters were already living there, and had established literary, artistic and social connections. The Camerons eventually settled in Freshwater, on the Isle of Wight.



At the age of 48 Cameron received a camera as a gift from her daughter and son-in-law. It was accompanied by the words, ‘It may amuse you, Mother, to try to photograph during your solitude at Freshwater.’ Cameron had compiled albums and even printed photographs before, but her work as a photographer now began in earnest.



The Camerons lived at Freshwater until 1875, when they moved to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) where Charles Cameron had purchased coffee and rubber plantations, managed under difficult agricultural and financial conditions by three of their sons. Cameron continued her photographic practice at her new home yet her output decreased significantly and only a small body of photographs from this time remains. After moving to Ceylon the Camerons made only one more visit to England in May 1878. Julia Margaret Cameron died after a brief illness in Ceylon in 1879.



Cameron’s relationship with the Victoria and Albert Museum dates to the earliest years of her photographic career. The first museum exhibition of Cameron's work was held in 1865 at the South Kensington Museum, London (now the V&A). The South Kensington Museum was not only the sole museum to exhibit Cameron’s work in her lifetime, but also the institution that collected her photographs most extensively in her day. In 1868 the Museum gave Cameron the use of two rooms as a portrait studio, perhaps qualifying her as its first artist-in-residence. Today the V&A’s Cameron collection includes photographs acquired directly from the artist, collected later from various sources and letters from Cameron to Sir Henry Cole (1808–82), the Museum’s founding director and an early supporter of photography.



This photograph is part of the Royal Photographic Society Collection at the V&A which also includes fragments of Cameron's original autobiographical manuscript for Annals of My Glass House.

Subject depicted
Summary
The South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) was

the only museum to collect and exhibit Julia Margaret

Cameron’s photographs during her lifetime. This is one

of several studies she made of Alice Liddell, who as a

child had modelled for the author and photographer

Lewis Carroll and inspired his novel Alice’s Adventures

in Wonderland. Cameron, Carroll and Liddell moved

in overlapping artistic and intellectual circles.

Here, surrounded by foliage, a grown-up Alice poses as

the Roman goddess of orchards and gardens.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
Julian Cox and Colin Ford, et al. Julia Margaret Cameron: the complete photographs. London : Thames and Hudson, 2003. Cat. no. 346, p. 230.
Other Numbers
  • XRP114B - RPS collection - V&A identifier
  • 2003-5001/2/23364 - Science Museum Group accession number
  • 2286/1 - Royal Photographic Society number
Collection
Accession Number
RPS.1271-2017

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record createdFebruary 26, 2018
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