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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Catherine Verschoyle

Born: Catherine Curtis 
Dates:  1802 - 1882
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Catherine Verschoyle
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Catherine Verschoyle, née Curtis, was the wife of Robert Verschoyle, a barrister in London descended from a branch of the Dutch family who began settling in Ireland in the early seventeenth century. In 1839 Catherine’s portrait was included in Heath’s Book of Beauty, and she was praised not only for her face but also for her sweet singing voice. She was an accomplished watercolorist before photography. She became one of the earliest members of the Photographic Society in London, especially notable for a woman, being accepted for membership in April 1853. In the society’s 1854 exhibition, she contributed three collodion views of Holland Park and one calotype, Cedars in Holland Park. Cedars was her only known calotype, although it is probably representative of a larger body of work. It was the first of many botanical and tree studies that she exhibited. Catherine Verschoyle continued to exhibit a wide variety of subjects until at least 1863, at which time the British Journal of Photography placed her “amongst our landscape photographists of repute.” She also continued to exhibit her watercolor landscapes at least this late. Her son, Colonel Henry William Verschoyle (1835-1870), acquired her drawing and photographic skills. He served in the Crimea and became an exhibiting member of the Photographic Society. His early demise came not in battle but from “heat apoplexy” while racing a yacht. 
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. 
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