2 of 8 portraits of Edward Carpenter
by Alvin Langdon Coburn
gum platinum print, 1905
11 1/8 in. x 8 3/4 in. (283 mm x 222 mm)
Given by Dr F. Severne Mackenna, 1977
Artistback to top
- Alvin Langdon Coburn (1882-1966), Photographer. Artist associated with 114 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.
This portraitback to top
A socialist poet and author, Edward Carpenter is perhaps best remembered as a campaigner for homosexual rights, who openly cohabited with a man, George Merrill, from 1898. His treatise Civilisation: Its Cause and Cure (1889) argued that civilisation was a temporary aberration
that humanity would ultimately outgrow. The American photographer Coburn has made the photograph by printing two emulsions one on top of the other in perfect registration. The first, made of platinum salts, gives the image its rich tonality. The second, of photosensitized gum Arabic, gives it a hint of colour.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 155
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 106
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- A Century of Photography, 1840-1940 (17 October 2016 - 29 October 2017)
Events of 1905back to top
Current affairsFollowing turmoil over the issue of Free Trade, Balfour resigns and calls an election, believing that the Liberals will be defeated. However, he is mistaken and Henry Campbell-Bannerman replaces him as the Liberal government Prime Minister.
The foundation of the Ulster Unionist Council, established to campaign against Home Rule, marks the birth of the Ulster Unionist party in Northern Ireland with the Duke of Abercorn as the first elected president.
Art and scienceThe Bloomsbury group of artists and intellectuals begin to hold informal gatherings at the home of Vanessa and Virginia Stephen. The group includes the artist Duncan Grant, biographer Lytton Strachey, and the art critics Clive Bell and Roger Fry.
The German theoretical physicist Albert Einstein has his 'annus mirabilis', publishing groundbreaking papers on the nature of light and motion, including his relation of mass and energy in the equation e = mc2.