Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage (Hardcover)
Human heads on animal bodies, people in fanciful landscapes, faces that are deftly morphed into common household objectsthese are among the Victorian experiments in photocollage seen and explained in this marvelous book. With sharp wit and dramatic shifts of scale, these images flouted the serious conventions of photography in the 1860s and 1870s. Often made by women for albums, they reveal the educated minds and accomplished hands of their makers, taking on the new theory of evolution, addressing the changing role of photography, and challenging the strict conventions of aristocratic society. Although these photocollages may seem wonderfully odd to us now, the authors argue that they are actually perfectly in keeping with the Victorian sensibility that embraced juxtaposition and variety.This delightful book, the first to examine comprehensively the little-known phenomenon of Victorian photocollage, presents imagery that has rarelyand, in many cases, neverbeen displayed or reproduced. Illuminating text provides a history of Victorian photocollage albums, identifies the common motifs found in them, and demonstrates the distinctly modern character of the medium, which paved the way for the future avant-garde potential of both photography and collage.
About the Author
Elizabeth Siegel is Associate Curator of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago. Patrizia Di Bello is a lecturer in the history and theory of photography at Birkbeck College, University of London. Marta Weiss is the Curator of Photographs in the Word and Image Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
"These essays make the Victorian photocollage more legible, in ways that are nuanced and provocative."—Andrea Volpe, College Art Association Reviews