William Fox Talbot

Russell Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Additional Information:A critical overview on the writings of Elizabeth Edwards. Particular attention is given to her methodological approach to examining cross-cultural visual histories, photographs as material culture and the history of collecting and institutional practices. The essay charts an evolving critical sensibility drawing on analytical methods from historiography, anthropology, cultural geography and museology, to explore photography as a complex material and visual artefact and its place in the historical imagination. This connects with Roberts' own curatorial research on the archive and past collaboration with Edwards (Roberts, R. “In Visible Light”, 1997)The importance of Fox-Talbot's writings is reviewed in proximity to his pioneering experiments that laid the foundations of modern photography and constituted the earliest serious cultural reflection on the origins and potential of the new medium. The essay emphasises the various roles and identities Talbot's writing on photography embodies and his evolving pictorial and phenomenological response to his discovery from his seminal text The Pencil of Nature (1844-46), to lesser-known writings from personal correspondence and journals that connect with his conception and practice of photography. The essay builds on Roberts' research into histories of photography and the work of Talbot in particular (Roberts, R. et al, “Huellas de Luz . Traces of Light”, Museo Naçional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, 2001)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication“50 Key Writers on Photography”
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2012


  • photography


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