William Henry Fox Talbot, Trees in Winter (detail), winter 1839/1840, salt print from a photogenic drawing negative, The William T. Hillman Collection

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography

Gallery One

Using his knowledge of art, botany, chemistry, and optics, William Henry Fox Talbot (British, 1800–1877) invented a means of turning an ordinary piece of paper into “photogenic drawings,” calotypes, and salted paper prints in 1839. Featuring more than 30 works, many of which have never before been shown, the exhibition will provide visitors a glimpse into the earliest days of photography. This is the largest exhibition of Talbot’s work in a North American museum in nearly 15 years, and the first show ever in Pittsburgh to present these important photographs from the dawn of the medium.


Exhibition Images

William Henry Fox Talbot, Trees in Winter, winter 1839/1840, salt print from a photogenic drawing negative, 6 x 7 1/2 in., The William T. Hillman Collection

William Henry Fox Talbot, A Barouche Parked in the North Courtyard of Lacock Abbey, April 1844, salt print from a calotype negative, 5 7/8 x 7 in. (image), The William T. Hillman Collection

William Henry Fox Talbot, Black Cherry Leaves, likely 1839, photogenic drawing negative, 7 1/4 x 9 in. (image/paper), The William T. Hillman Collection