|Dates: ||1823 - 1899|
Fox’s father was a decorative painter before becoming an artist, eventually exhibiting with regularity at the Royal Academy. His son also started as a decorative painter but sometime in the late 1850s moved on to photography as his means of visual expression. The younger Fox adopted the waxed-paper process, taking landscape and architectural photographs, mostly around his home of Brighton. By the early 1860s he was copyrighting his images for sale, including stereo views taken “instantaneously,” with a strong leaning toward subjects that would be of study interest to artists. It was in the winter of 1864-65 that Fox began a project echoing one undertaken by Talbot two decades earlier. This was a series of views of trees, specifically aimed at student artists. In order to show their structure (and to avoid the blurring of leaves that his long exposures encouraged), Talbot had photographed trees in winter. Fox expanded on this idea, photographing the same tree in both winter and summer, in order to reveal to the student the structure underlying the foliage. Although much of Fox’s serious work was in waxed paper, his contributions to the 1863 and 1864 exhibitions of the Photographic Society in London were taken on collodion. Fox disposed of his entire collection of photographs and paintings in 1892, mostly to friends, but a significant photographic archive survives to this day.
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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