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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Alfred Backhouse

Dates:  1823 - 1888
Active:  Italy / France / Switzerland
Early English photographer.

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Alfred Backhouse
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

The photographic outputs of the three Backhouse brothers, from a family of naturalists, horticulturalists, and bankers, are intriguingly intertwined. Alfred (identified incorrectly as Arthur in some auction catalogues) was elected a member of the Photographic Society in 1855. Supported by his coal earnings, he actively exhibited prints from waxed-paper negatives. In 1854-55, Venice, Strasbourg, and Nice supplied his subjects, including architectural details and more comprehensive views. In 1857 his exhibited photographs were all from Switzerland, ranging from Lucerne’s monument to the Swiss Guards to images of glaciers and Mont Blanc; the exhibition catalogue revealed that in one of these, the “sky of negative [is] slightly touched” (i.e., retouched). 
Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007) 
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is included here with permission. 
Date last updated: 4 Nov 2012. 
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
If you find any errors please email us details so they can be corrected as soon as possible.

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Family history 
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