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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Thomas Elmore

Dates:  1823 - ?
Born:  Ireland
Active:  Algeria

Preparing biographies

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

Born in Ireland, Elmore was the vice-counsul at Algiers when he mastered not only the technique of calotypy but also the spirit of photography. As the Literary Gazette reported in December 1850, in his annual exhibition of recent watercolors and paintings, the London printseller Joseph Grundy displayed recent calotypes by the “expert amateur, Mr. Elmore (not the painter), - they represent Moors, Arabs and Algerines, in their various costumes, and with the accessories of dwelling-places, furniture, arms, pipes and other things that convey the peculiar truth and accuracy of the picture, which would only be obtained by visiting the spot, and even then but seldom, if ever, by any of the ordinary methods of sketching. These specimens of such an interesting art are particularly worthy of a visit.” In an enthusiastic 1851 review of glass negatives recently brought from Paris by John Mayall, the Athenaeum observed, “Some calotypes from the hands of Mr. Thomas Elmore that we have examined privately made the nearest approach to excellence here reached.” Elmore retired to Brighton in the 1870s, and, sadly, none of his of calotypes are known to have survived. 
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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