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HomeContents > People > Photographers > William Hooper

Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

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

With addresses in Bradford and Manchester, Hooper was unanimously elected a member of the Manchester Photographic Society in 1860 and was elected a vice president the next year. He was clearly an enthusiastic experimenter, describing in the British Journal of Photography an 1859 presentation to the Chorlton Photographic Association as having been undertaken “after long experiment on nearly all the paper processes which have been published.” Hooper’s first public showing of work was in the 1859 exhibition accompanying the British Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Aberdeen. His five entries were all architectural, taken at various places in England, and all were done on turpentine waxed paper. Hooper had already published on a variation of Taupenot’s process in 1856, demonstrating it to the members of the Liverpool Photographic Society, and in 1859 he offered further information on waxed paper. Hooper planned to present a paper, “On the Production of Large Waxed-Paper Negatives,” to the Chorlton Photographic Society late in 1859, but held off pending some additional experiments involving albumen, which must have eventually disappointed him. He contributed a waxed-paper view of Furness Abbey to the Amateur Photographic Association, and this was shown in the 1863 exhibition of the Photographic Society in London. Hooper’s interest in photography was long-standing, and he felt that his experience might be useful to a younger generation of photographers who were rediscovering the facility of paper negatives in fieldwork. He wrote in the British Journal Photographic Almanac in 1889: “To those who are now using paper instead of glass my plan of waxing may be useful . . . I have negatives waxed as above over thirty years since, and they are as good as when first prepared.” 
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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