|Born: Emma Thomasina Talbot
|1808 - 1881
We will probably never know the full extent of her photographic contributions, not through any attempt to write women out of history but rather because Emma Thomasina Llewelyn, née Talbot, fit naturally and comfortably into the larger context of a photographic family. Emma and her brother Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (“Kit”) were Welsh cousins of W. H. T. Talbot. Wed to John Dillwyn Llewelyn, she took justifiable pride in their daughter Thereza, who would marry Mervyn Herbert Nevil Story Maskelyne in 1858 (becoming Thereza Story Maskelyne). An active and no doubt influential participant in the scientific projects of her family, Llewelyn is known to have taken at least some paper photographs in the 1840s, but very few are separately identified in family collections. As a photographer she is most closely identified with her cousin W. H. T. Talbot’s second major career in photography, when in 1852, realizing that the future of photography was in printer’s ink, he laid the groundwork for the process of photogravure. Llewelyn indeed became one of the earliest and most enthusiastic practitioners of Talbot’s photographic engraving process as well as his later (1858) photoglyphic engraving process.
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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