Julia Margaret Cameron's Women

August 27-November 30, 1999

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-79) is recognized as a pioneer of photography and one of the great portait photographers of all time. This is the first exhibition devoted specifically to Cameron's portraits of women. Although known largely for her photographs of famous male figures of her day, such as Alfred Lord Tennyson and Charles Darwin, Cameron likewise produced outstanding photographs of Victorian women. Addressing the manner in which Cameron's female subjects' physical beauty, intelligence, spirituality and maternal sensibilities were considered to mark their unique place in contemporary society, Julia Margaret Cameron's Women attempts to understand the period terms in which these emotionally charged photographs were conceived. Cameron's sophisticated use of lighting, selective focus and literary allusion resulted in a powerful portrayal of Victorian womanhood that is examined closely for the first time in this exhibition.

This exhibition was organized by The Art Institute of Chicago with the support of American Airlines and The National Endowment for the Arts.

Julia Margaret Cameron portrait photograph of woman

Julia Margaret Cameron, The Echo, 1868; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles