Seizing The Light: Photography In The Age of Invention at Beetles and Huxley

  • Beetles and Huxley Swallow Street London, W1J United Kingdom

25th May - 18th June 2016

"I have seized the light I have arrested its flight!'" Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre

Beetles+Huxley presents an exhibition of photographs by the masters of nineteenth-century photography, from the collection of Robert Hershkowitz.

In 1826-7 the first permanent record of an image was created through a photographic process by Nicéphore Niépce and photography quickly developed in the hands of a series of tenacious, ingenious inventors in France and Britain. Documenting technical innovations through the course of the century as well as the high artistic standards against which the earliest photographers held themselves, the exhibition shows the long-lasting impact of the two great rivals in the early history of photography Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot. Daguerre announced the invention of his daguerreotype process in 1839, triggering a torrent of public interest in the mysterious technique by which he had seemingly reproduced reality. Dating from as early as 1841, the daguerreotypes on show are examples of some of the earliest attempts to create photographic images.

Working at the same time as Daguerre, William Henry Fox Talbot invented the paper negative, a crucial in the development in the history of photography. A collection of Fox Talbot's calotypes will be on display, including his famous Ancient Vestry, Calvert Jones in the Cloisters at Lacock Abbey.