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HomeContents > People > Photographers > William Johnson Jennis Bolding

Other: W.J.J. Boldng 
Other: William Bolding 
Dates:  1815 - 1899
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for William Johnson Jennis Bolding
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

As an amateur artist Bolding favored a monochromatic brown watercolor for his landscapes and silhouettes for his portraits. One must assume that these preferences set the stage for his later enthusiasm for the inherent tones of photography. A wealthy shipowner and landowner in Weybourne, Bolding made most of his income as a brewer and maltster. An amateur archaeologist with friends in the Norwich School of artists, he traveled widely throughout Britain, making sketches as he went, and in 1850 he visited Switzerland. Two of his oil paintings were exhibited in 1853. We do not know exactly when his interest in photography bloomed, but Bolding benefited from the tutelage of Hugh Welch Diamond, and in 1856 he joined the Norwich Photographic Society. His first exhibited prints were local architectural studies produced from waxed-paper negatives, and in 1857 the Norfolk News praised them as “perhaps the finest proofs we have seen from waxed paper, on account of the unusual transparency of the shadows.” After this, using collodion negatives, Bolding produced an extensive series of “country types,” photographing the local people around him. In order to facilitate these portraits he had large windows installed in one of his malt barns so it could be used as a photographic studio. 
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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