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A Perfect Chemistry: Photographs by Hill & Adamson (Edinburgh)

Discussion in 'Forthcoming Events' started by AlanW, May 29, 2017.

  1. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    If old photographs interest you, and they don't come much older than these, then you might be interested in this exhibition which has just started at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh and runs until 1st Oct 2017.

    Some background on YouTube:

  2. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Have you seen it yet? I'll probably catch it tomorrow as I'm in town. Wondering how much has been seen before and how much is (pardon the expression) 'new'...
  3. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Yes, I was there last week. I think you have to be into early photography and photographic processes to get the most out of this, the casual observer may well be bored! Saying that, I enjoyed it but there was very little new to me, given I have several books on Hill & Adamson and have seen most of these photographs over the years in various group exhibitions and at the "The Origin of the Portrait Photograph" (Talbot Rice Gallery) and "Facing the Light" (Scottish Nation Portrait Gallery) exhibitions back in 2002 to mark the 200th anniversary of the Hill's birth. I was surprised to learn that Hill knew very little about the photographic process even though it was happening right in front of him, which possibly explains why he gave up photography after Adamson's death and returned to painting.

    Just had a look through "Facing the Light: The Photography of Hill & Adamson" by Sara Stevenson, this was the catalogue which accompanied the 2002 exhibition and as far as I can tell practically all the photographs from that exhibition are in this one.

    The Disruption painting is in the exhibition, which in my view is truly bad, I think he may well have got caught up in the moment and then had to see it through without realising it would take 22 years to complete! I read somewhere that he lost interest in it and in fact many of the figures were painted by his wife, the sculptor Amelia Paton. There's only one mention in the exhibition of their assistant, Miss Mann, who may have taken one of the photographs which shows Hill and Adamson with their camera in Greyfriars Kirkyard - I'd like to know more about her, from an historic point of view she may well have been the first female photographer!

    As a 'Friend' the exhibition was 'free', otherwise I might have grudged paying £10! Next up . . . . Beyond Caravaggio :)
    Zou likes this.
  4. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Popped in yesterday, and agree that it would be steep for a paying visitor, but looks good from a personal interest point of view. Will return for a more leisurely visit (with audio guide) at some point.

    Not photographic but I really love the Slave's Lament installation - my favourite Fagan piece so far.
    AlanW likes this.

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