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The Angel at the Sepulchre  by Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron
British, 1815-1879
The Angel at the Sepulchre
Albumen print from wet-collodion-on-glass negative
35.6 x 25.4 cm
Acquired by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute with funds from an anonymous donor, 1999

A year after receiving her first camera as a gift, Julia Margaret Cameron stated her ambitions as a photographer in a letter to her friend Sir John Herschel, "My aspirations are to ennoble photography," she declared, "and to secure for it the character and uses of high art by combining the real and ideal..." In The Angel at the Sepulchre, Cameron cast her parlormaid, Mary Ann Hillier, in a traditionally male role. In so doing she conflated the figure of the Angel at the Sepulchre with the popular Victorian archetype of Mary Magdalen.

In 1998 the Clark began a major initiative to establish a core collection of European and American photography from the 1840s through the 1910s. The collection now numbers over 100 works, including important photographs by Gustave Le Gray, Édouard Baldus, Nadar, Eugène Atget, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, Francis Frith, Carleton Watkins, William Bradford, Winslow Homer, and Alfred Stieglitz. The collection of works on paper may be viewed by appointment in the Department's study room. For further information or to arrange a visit, please call 413-458-0560.

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