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HomeContents > People > Photographers > J. Middleton

Active:  India

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for J. Middleton
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Middleton was the principal of Agra College in northern India and a friend of John Murray’s. His involvement in calotypy is known only through an 1854 letter he wrote to the Photographic Society in London, but from that it seems to have been an early and significant one. About 1851 he had taken a daguerreotype of the college while with Murray, and they both observed that colors distinctly appeared but then sadly disappeared on fixing; Murray had corroborated these events in a separate letter. Middleton ran out of daguerreotype plates soon afterward and gave up that process. Since that time, he wrote, he had “been chiefly engaged, during the little spare time I can command, in making a collection of Calotype negatives of places and things about here.” Middleton wrote the introduction to Murray’s 1857 Photographic Views in Agra and Its Vicinity and appears to have taken the calotype view of the cenotaph of the Mughal emperor Akbar’s tomb at Sikandra. 
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.
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John Falconer, British Library 
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia

Amateur, India
Principal, Agra College, 1850s. Wrote a letter on daguerreotype photography to Journal of the Photographic Society (1855). Contributed the introductory notes to John Murray’s portfolio of Photographic views in Agra and its vicinity (J. Hogarth, London, 1857); one of the prints in this series, of the cenotaph of Akbar’s Tomb at Sikandra, is by Middleton, since Murray had not at this time taken a photograph of the terrace. 

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