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HomeContents > People > Photographers > John Muir Wood

Dates:  1805 - 1892
Active:  UK
Accomplished amateur photographer studied by Sara Stevenson.

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for John Muir Wood
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Born into an Edinburgh family of piano makers and music publishers, Wood first began to take an interest in scientific topics when he studied in Paris and Vienna in the 1820s. He returned to Edinburgh and was there when photography began to be introduced during the 1840s. He was friends with George Smith Cundell and many other figures involved in early calotypy and of course would have been well aware of the work of Hill & Adamson. Wood’s earliest known photographs, calotype groups and portraits, date from the mid-1840s. In 1847 he made calotypes on a journey that started in York and went on to Belgium and Germany. Wood then photographed Melrose Abbey and, extensively, the landscape of Scotland. Highly competent as an amateur photographer, Wood was also an experimentalist who annotated many of his prints and negatives. His descendants carefully preserved his photographic archive, making it one of the most important study collections available today. 
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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