Object Details




Julia Margaret Cameron (British, born India, 1815 - 1879)




Freshwater, Isle of Wight, England, Europe (Place created)


January 1864


Albumen silver print


17.9 × 14.3 cm (7 1/16 × 5 5/8 in.)

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On the paper on which this print is mounted, Julia Margaret Cameron inscribed the words: "My very first success in Photography." Cameron had received her first camera as a gift just one month before writing these words. Like most photographers of the time, she struggled with the mechanical operation of the camera and the chemistry involved to create an image.

In the 1860s, photographers were required to work rapidly because all of the chemicals had to be used while they were still fresh. They had to compose the subject for the photograph, hoping the sitter could maintain his or her pose long enough for them to make the exposure. The complexity and urgency of the process led to many technical mistakes, and Cameron's early attempts were no exception. Even though the sitter's face is slightly out of focus, and streaks from the application of the chemistry are evident, it was with great pride and satisfaction that Cameron declared this portrait of tousle-haired Annie Philpot to be the first completed print that she considered successful.

Whisper of the Muse at Loyola Marymount University (September 12 to October 25, 1986)
  • Laband Gallery, Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), September 12 to October 25, 1986
Portrait Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron (November 25, 1987 to February 14, 1988)
  • National Portrait Gallery (Washington D.C.), November 25, 1987 to February 14, 1988
Julia Margaret Cameron: The Creative Process (October 15, 1996 to May 3, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 15, 1996 to January 5, 1997
  • Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), February 4 to May 3, 1998
Julia Margaret Cameron, Photographer (November 21, 2003 to January 11, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 21, 2003 to January 11, 2004