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HomeContents > People > Photographers > William Towler Kingley

Other: Rev. Kingsley 
Dates:  1815 - 1916
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for William Towler Kingley
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Rev. Kingsley was a relatively young fellow and tutor at Sidney College, Cambridge, when he took up photography in the 1850s. His first public showing was in the 1853-54 Society of Arts touring exhibition; remarkably diverse, his work included photographs taken through a microscope (photomicroscopy) and examples of photolithography. Between 1854 and 1856 he exhibited dozens of images, the majority examples of photomicroscopy. Kingsley also employed the daguerreotype and wet collodion, but most of his photographs were accomplished in waxed-paper negatives, and the process was always carefully specified. Reviewing the 1855 exhibition of the Photographic Society in London, the Liverpool Photographic Journal declared that “the most remarkable specimens are those taken from the microscope by the Rev. Mr. Kingsley, the whole of whose collection from collodion and waxed-paper negatives are exquisitely delineated, and appear to me the most successful, especially of semi-opaque objects, that have yet been taken.” The 1855 exhibition also revealed Kingsley’s new interest in architectural views, also done in waxed paper. A series of his studies of Cambridge colleges emerged at auction in the 1970s; of an extraordinarily large size, these averaged 33.5 x 43 centimeters. In 1859 Kingsley (who lived to be 101 years old) became rector at South Kilvington, Yorkshire, and nothing is known of his photographic activity after this point. 
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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