When Julia Margaret Cameron held her Victorian photographic gatherings at Dimbola Lodge in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight guests ranged from poets, novelists and artists.
In 2012 Dimbola Museum and Galleries are focusing their photographic eye towards themed exhibitions and events to celebrate women and children in photography.
Our exhibition guides for Friday (6th July (pictured below) were Dr Carolyn Bloore, Schools Officer for the V&A Museum of Childhood, Editor of the RPHG PhotoHistorian and Colin Ford CBE vice-president of the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust & co-curator of Women and Children First. Also present were Photographer Dorothy Bohm (pictured above) and her daughter Monica Bohm – Duchen (pictured below).
The MC for the evening was Dr. Brian Hinton MBE, poet, historian, musicologist and Chairman of the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust.
Curated by her daughter and Colin Ford Dorothys photographic exhibition showcases a wide array of black and white photographs of Women and Children that document a rapidly changing world. The images are aesthetically striking, visually sophisticated, yet immediately accessible. Her fascination with people is clearly evident in her work.
Dorothy Bohm has spent her lifetime taking photographs and travelling the World. Her husband, a scientist, had to travel a lot for work and whenever she could she went with him.
“It was a break from working in my studio in Manchester. Wherever I went, my camera went with me. Photography for me has been a lifeline, When you’ve been doing it since the age of 16, as I have – it becomes completely natural, like eating and drinking.” Continuing Dorothy explained:
“Women photographers are lucky because they can get away with things that men can’t. and when you have to photograph people, as a woman you are less intrusive.”
Colin Ford provided a fascinating insight into the circumstances surrounding many of the photographs and of course Dorothy’s Book ‘A World Observed’: Photographs by Dorothy Bohm 1940-2010. The book traces her exceptional photographic career which spans six decades and several continents. View more details on Dorothy Bohms website click here…
At the age of 88, her enthusiasm for taking pictures continues unabated and as Dorothy remarked: ‘Women and Children First’ at Dimbola (6th July – 7th October 2012) is her favourite exhibition of all time.”
Running alongside Dorothy’s exhibition is Julia Margaret Cameron: Photographs of Children 6th July 2012 – 4th January 2013.
Earlier this year the V&A Museum of Childhood hosted its first exhibition solely devoted to Julia Margaret Cameron’s pioneering photographs of children. As Dimbola Lodge was the former victorian home of the first lady of photography, the V&A have loaned 20 portraits of children to be exhibited between 6th July 2012 – 4th January 2013.
In her photography Julia strove to capture beauty. She wrote “I longed to arrest all the beauty that came before me and at length the longing has been satisfied”. The V&A started collecting Julia Margaret Cameron’s works in her lifetime and some were even donated by Cameron herself. Having made over 200 photographs of children this is the first time that an exhibition has been devoted solely to them.
Her vision of childhood meant she often cast children as cherubs and angels. As she believed photography had the power to be fine art, her tableaux made those young sitters seem like elements of a Renaissance painting.
Although her style was not widely appreciated at the time her work has had an impact on modern photographers, especially some of these closely cropped portraits. It was great to see the enthusiasm that Dr Carolyn Bloore (pictured) expressed when introducing Julia’s work especially as it was coming home to Dimbola Lodge (albeit for a brief visit).
We encourage everyone to go and view the two pioneering lady photographers as the intimacy expressed in both of the exhibitions work so wonderfully together.
Dimbola Museum & Galleries, Terrace Lane, PO40 9QE Freshwater, Isle Of Wight.
To view more images of the opening launch click here…
1) Dorothy Bohm Women and Children First at Dimbola Museum & Galleries.
2) Colin Ford, Carolyn Bloore and Monica Bohm-Duchen.
3) Dorothy Bohm views Julia Margaret Cameron Exhibition: Photographs of Children.
4) Dr Carolyn Bloore introducing Julia Margaret Camerons work to guests.
All images displayed above are Copyright Isle of Wight Photo Agency
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