"Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage" Exhibition

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

poster for "Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage" Exhibition

This event has ended.

Sixty years before the embrace of collage techniques by avant-garde artists of the early twentieth century, aristocratic Victorian women were already experimenting with photocollage. The compositions they made with photographs and watercolors are whimsical and fantastical, combining human heads and animal bodies, placing people into imaginary landscapes, and morphing faces into common household objects. Such images, often made for albums, reveal the educated minds as well as the accomplished hands of their makers. With sharp wit and dramatic shifts of scale akin to those Alice experienced in Wonderland, these images stand the rather serious conventions of early photography on their heads.

[Image: Maria Harriet Elizabeth Cator "Untitled page from the Cator Album" (late 1860s/70s) collage of watercolor and albumen silver prints 11 x 8.5 in. Courtesy Hans P. Kraus, Jr., New York]


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