The first photographic images in the late 1820s had to be exposed for hours in order to capture them on film. Improvements in the technology led to this exposure time being drastically cut down to minutes, then seconds, throughout the 19th century. But in the meantime, the long exposures gave us a few unmistakable Victorian photography conventions, such as the stiff postures and unsmiling faces of people trying to remain perfectly still while their photograph was being taken. Seems children […]
Today’s post comes from Mike Crump, a brilliant young neuroscientist doing impressive brain research at Oxford (which is far too complicated for my humble art historical mind to fully understand, let alone articulate to you, so I won’t embarrass myself trying). When not discovering awesome brain things, Mike is interested in the dark corners of the history of science and medicine. He’s written a great article for the blog about a ridiculously interesting Victorian surgeon, Robert Liston, who was one […]
This slideshow displays a sample of the amazing 19th century mug shots that formed part of a show I curated at the New Zealand Police Museum last year, Suspicious Looking (available here as an online exhibition). Until then, these incredible images had never before been shown to the public. What is it about old mug shots that is so utterly compelling? When we look at them, do we try to see evidence of their criminal nature written in their expression? […]
I think that probably every person, at some point in their lives, gets the urge to make their own ridiculously interesting creature out of the shaved a** of a monkey. (Right?) Well this grim little fellow is the product of that impulse, created around 1824 by an eccentric but well-respected 19th century English naturalist, Charles Waterton (1782-1865).