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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Thomas Augustine Malone

Dates:  1823 - 1867
Born:  England, London
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Thomas Augustine Malone
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Malone was born in London but his family came from Reading. He had just started in partnership with Nicolaas Henneman in their London studio when he listed himself as a ďTalbotype artistĒ in the 1851 census. The story of his early years in photography is somewhat unclear, but he was an active presence in photographic society meetings in the 1850s and later reminisced about Talbot and Henneman, often inserting himself into the narrative. (One story has him working as an apprentice in the chemistís shop where Henneman purchased his supplies.) He first turns up in Talbotís correspondence in September 1844, when Henneman mentions that Malone is interested in a position with Antoine Claudet, with whom he was soon working. Near the end of 1846 he encouraged Talbot to open a London studio; within a couple of years the two were writing regularly, trying to solve the problem of permanence in prints. In 1849 and 1851 Malone and Talbot took out joint photographic patents. Malone was working in a supporting role at Hennemanís establishment in 1847 and by the next year the business was known as Henneman & Malone. Lasting through the Great Exhibition of 1851, the firm then became Henneman & Co., and Malone moved back to Reading. He entered the Royal College of Chemistry in 1852 and the following year began teaching photography courses (to both men and women, although separately) at the Royal Polytechnic Institution. Later a commercial photographer in London, Malone never exhibited but was an active photographer on paper from the earliest days. He maintained a friendly professional relationship with Talbot over a span of many years. He was made a fellow of the Chemical Society and also edited the Liverpool and Manchester Photographic Journal in 1857-58. Malone later returned to work as an operative in a chemistís shop. According to the death certificate, he died of ďacute melancholia.Ē 
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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