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Faculty Book: Geoffrey Batchen

Geoffrey Batchen

William Henry Fox Talbot
(Phaidon, 2008)

The father of modern photography, William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–77) developed the process by which photographic images could be reproduced, but he has yet to be sufficiently appreciated as a photographer in his own right. A key intellectual figure of the nineteenth century working in science, mathematics, astronomy, politics, and archaeology, he is arguably the most important figure in the invention of photography. His practice established many of the medium’s most familiar genres and he was devoted to the advancement of photography, publishing the first photographically illustrated book, The Pencil of Nature, in 1844–46 to reveal the potential of the medium to a wider audience. This monograph features many of Talbot’s best-known landscapes made around his home Lacock Abbey and some of the first negatives ever made, but it also includes lesser-known and previously unpublished work that reveals the extraordinary diverse scope of his endeavors. Geoffrey Batchen is a professor of art history at the Graduate Center.

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Submitted on: JUN 4, 2008

Category: History, Faculty Books