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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Charles Henry Hartshorne

Dates:  1802 - 1865
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Charles Henry Hartshorne
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Rev. Hartshorne was a reluctant clergyman who had been introduced to bibliomania while still in his university days. His marriage to the daughter of the librarian at Cambridge brought him both a compatible soulmate and immense wealth. A move to Northamptonshire in 1838 positioned Hartshorne to pursue both antiquarian studies and photography. At an Architectural Society meeting in Northampton in 1850, Hartshorne “delivered a viva voce account of the Calotype,” exhibiting not only the apparatus involved but also “some of these sun-pictures, the results of his own experiments.” He cautioned his audience that “the calotypist must reckon upon scores and scores of failures for a single instance of tolerable success.” No further reference to Hartshorne’s patient calotyping has been traced, but he went on to be a significant author and an active member of several societies. His library was sold at Sotheby’s after his sudden death, but the sale was a disappointment, as many of the items had been water damaged in a fire, and Hartshorne’s own photographs might well not have survived this double calamity. 
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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