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Roger Fenton at Photo London

"Previous Fenton scholars have presented his extraordinary, extensive career in terms of chronology and subject. However, the essential Fenton is best unveiled by examining aspects of his work, in both print and image, that are personal and recurring, irrespective of subject and circumstance. The mystery behind some of his most potent images is that they are simultaneously totally accessible, while also being seriously elusive. Though many nineteenth century photographers believed photography could teach the mind to see, Fenton’s images uniquely demonstrate photography could teach us to see the mind.”

Impressive works in the exhibition included Paradise, The Lily House at the Botanic Gardens Oxford and Lady Chapel, Wells Cathedral (facsimile) - as well as Crimea image The Artist’s Van. This and other Crimea images, published in the Illustrated London News, effectively made Roger Fenton the first photo-journalist recording a conflict.

Books about Fenton which were on display included All the Mighty World by Gordon Baldwin, Malcolm Daniel and Sarah Greenough, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2004) and A Family Collection – Sun Pictures by Hans P Kraus Jnr (2005).