Salt and Silver: Early Photography, 1840–1860
Written by Marta Braun, Hope Kingsley
Project edited by Polly Fleury, the Wilson Centre for Photography, Tate Britain Gallery
Published by MACK BOOKS, London
Soft cover, 195 pages: illustrations, portraits, ISBN: 978-1910164167
Publication date: February 1, 2015
Salt prints are the very first photographs on paper that still exist today. Made in the first twenty years of photography, they are the results of esoteric knowledge and skill. Individual, sometimes unpredictable, and ultimately magical, the chemical capacity to ‘fix a shadow’ on light sensitive paper, coated in silver salts, was believed to be a kind of alchemy, where nature drew its own picture.
Salt and Silver brings together more than one hundred plates drawn from the Wilson Centre for Photography (WCP), accompanied by two roundtable discussions with curators, academics, historians and collectors from world renowned institutions. Encompassing many of the great works of the period, the publication includes prints by Edouard Baldus, Louis Blanquart-Evrard, Mathew Brady, Charles Clifford, Louis De Clercq, Maxime Du Camp, Roger Fenton, Jean-Baptiste Frenet, Charles Hugo, David Octavius Hill, Robert Adamson, Calvert Richard Jones, Gustave Le Gray, Henri Le Secq, Charles Marville, Felix Nadar, Charles Negre, Felice Beato, Auguste Salzmann, William Henry Fox Talbot, Felix Teynard and Linnaeus Tripe.