L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lady Hawarden

Clementina Maude, Viscountess Hawarden, (June 1, 1822 – January 19, 1865), née Clementina Elphinstone Fleeming, an important early photographer.

In 1845, she married the 4th Viscount Hawarden, with whom she had ten children, eight of whom survived to adulthood.  She took up photography in 1857 or 1858 while the family was living in Ireland.  On returning to England in 1859, she was able to set up a studio in her home in South Kensington.  There she took most of the photographs for which she is best known, usually employing her daughters as models.  She first exhibited at the Photographic Society of London in January 1863, was elected a member of the Society the following year, and was awarded a silver medal both years.  She died suddenly in 1865; it has been suggested that her health was compromised by her frequent exposure to photographic chemicals.  She was 42.

Nearly all of the existing prints of Lady Hawarden's work are damaged at the corners; the photographs were once stuck in albums and were at some point torn out.  Many of the reproductions of her work have thus been "cleaned up" and variously cropped, severely compromising their original compositions.

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