Archive from the world’s oldest photographic society to go on show
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Archive from the world’s oldest photographic society to go on show

The Two Ways of Life, Oscar Rejlander, 1857 © The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

London’s Science Museum is to host a major exhibition of prints and artefacts from the collection of the Royal Photographic Society, including prints and experimental cameras made by William Fox Talbot in the 1820s. Masters of Light: Treasures from the Royal Photographic Society Collection will display over 200 items from the archives of a collection that was started in 1853, and it will be held on the site of one of the UK’s first ever photographic exhibitions, that took place in The South Kensington Museum in 1858. The museum is now the Science Museum, and the show will be held in the Media Space gallery.

The show promises prints from Roger Fenton, Lewis Carroll and Julia Margaret Cameron exhibited in the company of more modern greats, such as Martin Parr, Don McCullin and Terry O’Neil. Alongside the prints will be items from the collection that trace photography’s history, such as Nièpce heliographs, Talbot’s camera lucida sketchbook and the first commercially published book to be illustrated by photographs – Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature.

The show runs at The Science Museum from 2nd December 2014 until 1st March 2015, when it moves to the National Media Museum from 20th March to 21st June 2015. Mannheim’s Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen will also host the exhibition from a date yet to be announced in 2017.

Link to The Science Museum exhibition information page