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Photography and the Transformation of a Gentleman's Art, 1839-1900
Laurie Dahlberg, Bard College
Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FT-59758-12
Dr Diamond's Day Off (Article)
Title: Dr Diamond's Day Off
Author: Laurie Dahlberg
Abstract: Having pioneered the use of photography as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool in portraits of his female patients at the Surrey County Lunatic Asylum in the 1850s, Hugh Welch Diamond is typically remembered as the ‘father of psy- chiatric photography’. This parochial label and the pathos of these well-known images have occluded our contemporary view of Diamond, who was regarded by his peers as one of the leaders of British photography. A recently identified album in the George Eastman House collection raises questions about our assumptions that Diamond approached photography purely in an instrumental or utilitarian way. In fact, the album suggests that at the same time as Diamond was immersed in the documentation of his patients, he was experi- menting with dramatically expressive portraits in ways that forecast the work of pictorialists such as Henry Peach Robinson and Julia Margaret Cameron. The album’s superabundance of portraits of women makes a compelling case for Diamond’s preoccupation with the woman as muse, whether for the purposes of art or science.
Primary URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03087298.2014.1000095
Primary URL Description: article pdf from History of Photography v. 39 no. 1.
Secondary URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/thph20
Secondary URL Description: homepage for the History of Photography journal
Access Model: subscription for access upon publication; open access after 6 months
Periodical Title: History of Photography
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group)