Gathering Clouds: Photographs from the 19th Century and Today
*The event has already taken place on this date: Sun, 01/03/2021
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We have the sky always before us, therefore we do not recognise how beautiful it is. It is very rare to see anybody go into raptures over the wonders of the sky, yet of all that goes on in the whole world there is nothing to approach it for variety, beauty, grandeur, and serenity.
—H. P. Robinson, The Elements of a Pictorial Photograph, 1896
At the end of the nineteenth century, Henry Peach Robinson (British, 1830–1901) emphasized the significance of the sky in landscape photography. “The artistic possibilities of clouds,” he further noted, “are infinite.” Robinson’s plea to photographers to attend to the clouds was not new. From photography’s beginnings, clouds had been central to aesthetic and technological debates in photographic circles. Moreover, they featured in discussions about the nature of the medium itself. Gathering Clouds demonstrates that clouds played a key role in the development and reception of photography from the medium’s invention (1839) to World War I (1914–18).
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