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HomeContents > People > Photographers > James Calder Macphail

Dates:  1821 - 1908
Active:  Israel and Palestine / Italy / Malta

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for James Calder Macphail
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

A minister in the Free Church of Scotland, Macphail participated in the Disruption, but we do not know if he was photographed by Hill & Adamson, although he certainly had every opportunity to meet the calotypists. An authority on Gaelic literature, Macphail was an active advocate for developing a Gaelic-speaking ministry. Until recently, his only known photographic work documented a tour of the Holy Land late in life. However, four of Macphail’s photographs have been identified in a newly discovered Edinburgh Calotype Club album. Salt prints from calotype negatives, they show the Colosseum and St. Peter’s in Rome, the Temple of Serapis in Naples, and the Quarantine Hospital in Valletta, Malta, and were all possibly taken when he traveled with his friend James Dunlop in the 1840s. 
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.
If you find any errors please email us details so they can be corrected as soon as possible.

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