This exhibition and accompanying publication explored the conventional photographic portrait and its many alternatives against the background of the 19th century belief in the 'science' of physiognomy, the study of genetics, and the belief-systems and aesthetics of social Darwinism.
Building on the original premise and supported by study of existing literature, primary research was conducted in archives in Britain and France to build an extensive image file of over 300 photographs, from which 100 were selected.
Archives consulted included the Musée des Collections Historiques de Police, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Bethlem Royal Hospital Archives and Museum, the Wellcome Library, and the Museum of Film Photography and Television and the V&A. To these were added key images from the National Portrait Gallery, some never previously exhibited. The photographs were worked into a narrative that explored the social significance of the face in areas as diverse as crime, science and celebrity. Highlights of the exhibition included rare images of suffragettes issued to London art galleries to help them identify and exclude potential vandals, portraits of murderers and their victims, photographic composites which present an average likeness of a family and ‘portraits’ revealing how the face responds to electric shocks. The exhibition featured works by many of the most celebrated photographers of the period including Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll and Oscar Rejlander, as well as ‘unauthored’ images.
|Type of Research:||Show/Exhibition|
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > London College of Fashion|
Other Affiliations > RAE 2008
|Date:||06 June 2001|
|Event Location:||National Portrait Gallery, London|
|Deposited By:||INVALID USER|
|Deposited On:||03 Dec 2009 21:44|
|Last Modified:||30 Sep 2010 10:19|