Darwin's Camera

Darwin's Camera

Art and Photography in the Theory of Evolution

Book - 2009
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Darwin's Camera tells the extraordinary story of how Charles Darwin not only changed the course of science; he forever changed the way pictures are seen and made. In his illustrated masterpiece, Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1871), Darwin introduced the idea of usingphotographs to illustrate a scientific theory--his was the first photographically-illustrated science book ever published. Using photographs to depict fleeting expressions of emotion--laughter, crying, anger, and so on--as they flit across a person's face, he managed to produce dramatic images at atime when photography was famously slow and awkward. The things he wanted to photograph changed too quickly to be photographed easily, and he struggled to get the pictures he needed. So he scoured the galleries, bookshops, and photographic studios of London, looking for pictures to satisfy hisdemand for expressive imagery. He finally settled on one the giants of photographic history, the eccentric art photographer Oscar Rejlander, to make his pictures. It was a peculiar choice. Darwin was known for his meticulous science, while Rejlander was notorious for altering and manipulatingphotographs. Their remarkable collaboration, and the lengths they went to to create the pictures Darwin needed, is one of the astonishing revelations in Darwin's Camera. Darwin never studied art formally, but he was always interested in art and often drew on art knowledge as his work unfolded. He studied art as a student and befriended the artists on the voyage of HMS Beagle, he visited art museums to examine figures and animals in paintings, he made friends withartists, and read art history books. He befriended the celebrated animal painters Joseph Wolf and Briton Riviere, and accepted the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner as a trusted guide. He corresponded with legendary photographers Lewis Caroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, and G.-B. Duchenne deBoulogne, as well as many lesser lights. Darwin's Camera provides the first examination ever of these relationships and their effect on Darwin's work, and how Darwin, in turn, shaped the history of art.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009.
ISBN: 9780195150315
0195150317
Branch Call Number: 704.9495/PRODGER
Characteristics: xxv, 283 p. : ill., ports. ; 27 cm.

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