Cover image for Photography, natural history and the nineteenth-century museum : exchanging views of empire
Photography, natural history and the nineteenth-century museum : exchanging views of empire
Photography, natural history and the nineteenth-century museum : exchanging views of empire

Photography, natural history and the 19th-century museum : exchanging views of empire.

Science and the Arts Since 1750.
Davidson, Kathleen (Kathleen Margaret), author.
Publication Information:
Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, 2017.
Physical Description:
xvi, 233 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Science and the Arts Since 1750.
General Note:
"An Ashgate book"--Cover.
List of illustrations -- Colour plates -- Acknowledgments. Introduction : Rethinking the role of photography in Victorian natural history -- Emerging sites of production: a comparative approach -- Formative visions of empire -- Exchanging views of empire -- From "immutable mobiles" to "boundary objects" -- Making and moving images -- Peripatetic objects of empire and collections at the periphery -- Navigating the archive. 1 Paper museums: photography and natural history at the British Museum : Introduction -- From institution priorities to imperial interests -- A virtual inventory of specimens: circulating new knowledge and filling in the gaps -- Private operators and entrepreneurs -- Conclusion. 2 Museum traffic: naturalist correspondents and the advent of photography in the colonial museum : Introduction -- From German settler to cosmopolitan scholar: colonial masculinity and the rise of the self-made man -- Naturalist correspondents, photography and the reframing of natural history -- Expeditionary photography and the "New Traveller's Tales" -- Conclusion. 3 The rhetoric of exemplarity: portraiture and the naturalist as celebrity : Introduction -- Gentleman amateurs and professional bodies: the social formation of Victorian science -- The naturalist refashioned -- Conclusion. 4 Nature as spectacle: encountering the moa from Christchurch to Madras via London and Paris : Introduction -- The origin of the natural history collections at the Canterbury Museum -- A new era of the museum begins: the debate over order versus spectacle -- Portraits and the press: the colonial naturalist as publicist -- Conclusion. Conclusion. References : Archival sources -- Newspapers and periodicals -- Secondary sources. Index.
The Victorian era heralded an age of transformation in which momentous changes in the field of natural history coincided with the emergence of photography. During this period, different parts of the British Empire began to actively claim their right to be acknowledged as indispensable contributors to knowledge and the progress of empire. Corresponding with the rise of the modern museum, photography's arrival was timely and it rapidly became an essential technology for recording and publicising rare objects and valuable collections. In Empire, Photography and the Nineteenth-Century Museum, Kathleen Davidson draws on wide-ranging archives and visual material to explore the complex relationship between natural history, photography and museums from the 1850s to the 1880s in Britain and its colonies, principally Australia and New Zealand. This comparative international study investigates how natural history networks transformed conceptions of empire, and the role of photography in that process. In an interrogation that ranges from the first forays into museum photography and early attempts to document scientific expeditions to the importance of traditional and photographic portraiture for the recognition of scientific discoveries, this book not only recasts the parameters of what we actually identify as natural history photography in the Victorian era but also how we understand the very structure of empire in relation to this genre at that time.
Bibliographical References:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Field 805:
npmlib 10701926 TR721 D38 ysh
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