South West What's On

The Origins of Photography

The New Year gets underway at The Salisbury Museum with a brand new exhibition looking the history of the photographic process, using wonderful images of Salisbury as a guide. The Origins of Photography in Salisbury 1839 – 1919 opens on 19 January and runs until 4 May 2019.

This exhibition is co-curated by Anthony Hamber, who is an independent photographic historian.  He was born and brought up in Salisbury, where his father was a medical GP. His book Photography and the 1851 Great Exhibition (Oak Knoll Press and V&A Publications) was recently published to accompany the opening of the V&A Photography Centre. Previously, Anthony’s study of William Blackmore, one of the founders of the Salisbury Museum, was published as Collecting the American West: The Rise and Fall of William Blackmore (Hobnob Press, 2010).
Starting with the rise of photography in Salisbury during the first decade or so of the medium’s existence, this exhibition will tell the story of the development of both amateur and commercial photography and the processes and formats used. Amateur photography started in the city during the 1840’s, but it was following the Great Exhibition in 1851 that commercial photography really took off in earnest. 
Salisbury is a beautiful and photogenic medieval city, with the Cathedral and Close at its heart. This exhibition will transport the viewer back in time to see Salisbury Cathedral and views of the city, but at the same time, reflect on the evolution of the photographic process and technique of photographers over the years. Using the rich archive of images from Salisbury Museum and including images from the British Museum, the exhibition will also show photographs of the Blackmore Museum and major events, like the 1906 rail crash and 1919 Peace Pageant, to tell this compelling story.
Anthony Hamber says, ‘This exhibition provides an insight into the richness and diversity of the photographic holdings of Salisbury Museum, documenting the city, its architecture and daily life.’
From daguerreotypes, calotypes and albumen prints, to glass plates and rolls of film, this exhibition will take you on a photographic journey of discovery, with the city of Salisbury and its people, at its heart. 
No booking required
Normal admission charges apply
£8 Adults, £4 Children, £20 Family
Museum opening hours: 
Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm