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  • Portrait of a suited man leaning against a boat
    Hill & Adamson (Scottish, active 1843–1847), A Newhaven Pilot, 1843–1845. Salted paper print, 20.3 x 14.6 cm. Gernsheim Collection, purchase, 964:0048:0085
  • Portrait of a suited man leaning against a boat

Hill & Adamson: The Clarkson Stanfield Album

March 9 – June 2, 2024

Don't miss this unprecedented exhibition of the Clarkson Stanfield Album, a superb volume of early photographs by the celebrated Scottish partnership of Hill & Adamson. Launching their collaboration in Edinburgh in 1843, the established painter David Octavius Hill (1802–1870) and the young photographer Robert Adamson (1821–1848) combined their aesthetic sensitivity and technical brilliance to produce an unparalleled body of portraits, architectural and landscapes scenes, and pioneering social documents. Their work endures today as one of the earliest sustained explorations of photography as an artform.

In the fall of 1845 Hill & Adamson prepared an album of their finest work, arranging over 100 salted paper prints from their calotype negatives into a folio bound in rich purple leather with intricate gold tooling, and sold it to the prominent English marine painter Clarkson Frederick Stanfield (1793–1867). Now known as the Clarkson Stanfield Album, it is one of only a few such unique albums assembled in the years before Adamson's death at age 26.

More than 175 years later the album is undergoing structural repair, providing the first opportunity since 1845 to view several sections at once before conservators return them to the original binding. The exhibition includes 39 salted paper prints from the Clarkson Stanfield Album, as well as examples of Adamson's earliest photographic trials and two of Hill's painted landscapes. The exhibition is drawn entirely from the Gernsheim Collection, acquired by the Ransom Center in 1963.

National Endowment for the Humanities
Any views, findings, recommendations or conclusions expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Austin PBS

The Ransom Center appreciates the generosity of our promotional partners: CultureMap, and KUT 90.5 & KUTX 98.9.