|Dates: ||1828 - ?|
A native of Ayr, Cumming first showed his photographs in the 1852 exhibition of the Society of Arts, employing calotype negatives to present views of Tunbridge Wells. By 1854 Cumming’s paper negatives shared billing with his collodion work, and by 1861 he was established as an artist and photographer in Edinburgh, soon opening a professional portrait gallery on Princes Street. His “Cumming’s Patent Automatic Photo Delivery Machine” was advertised as capable of mass-producing views in a carte-de-visite format, but there is no record that it was ever patented or even used. His son, W. Skeoch Cumming, became a well-known painter.
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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