Essay by Johanna Stephenson
Salt prints are the very first photographs on paper that still exist today. Made in the first twenty years of photography, they are the results of esoteric knowledge and skill. Individual, sometimes unpredictable, and ultimately magical, the chemical capacity to ‘fix a shadow’ on light sensitive paper, coated in silver salts, was believed to be a kind of alchemy, where nature drew its own picture.
Salt and Silver brings together over 100 plates drawn from the Wilson Centre for Photography, accompanied by two roundtable discus- sions with curators, academics, historians and collectors from world renowned institutions. Encompassing many of the great works of the period, the publication includes prints by Edouard Baldus, Louis Blanquart-Evrard, Mathew Brady, Charles Clifford, Louis De Clercq, Maxime Du Camp, Roger Fenton, Jean-Baptiste Frenet, Charles Hugo, David Octavius Hill, Robert Adamson, Calvert Richard Jones, Gustave Le Gray, Henri Le Secq, Charles Marville, Felix Nadar, Charles Negre, Felice Beato, Auguste Salzmann, William Henry Fox Talbot, Felix Teynard and Linnaeus Tripe.
Participants in roundtable conversations include: Simon Baker, Tate; Martin Barnes, V&A; Elisabeth Edwards, De Montfort University; Carol Jacobi, Tate Britain; Hope Kingsley, WCP; Hans Kraus, Hans P. Kraus Jr Inc; Anne de Mondenard, Mediatheque de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Paris; Lori Pauli, National Gallery of Canada; Michael G. Wilson, WCP.
Mack is an art and photography publishing house based in London, working with established and emerging artists, writers and curators, and cultural institutions – releasing between 20-25 books per year.