Disciples of Light

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 163-164) and index. Subjects: Brewster, David, Sir (1781-1868) --Catalogs --J. Paul Getty Museum --Photograph collections --California --Malibu. Summary: When the Getty Museum established a collection of photographs in 1984, among the greatest of its first acquisitions was an album assembled by Sir David Brewster of photographs made between 1839 and 1850, at the dawn of photography. The album contains almost two hundred pictures, from the simplest photogenic drawings to more advanced paper prints, by the principal Scottish practitioners of Talbot's "new art". It was put together by a man who himself participated in the development of photography, who knew everybody and saw everything, and who took pleasure in bringing people and ideas together. Because Talbot's English patent on a method for recording photographic images on paper did not apply to Scotland, Brewster and his friends at St. Andrews were free to adapt Talbot's invention. Brewster passed information to others and taught them techniques. Graham Smith's text offers a tour of "the headquarters of the calotype, " Brewster's St. Andrews, and thereby helps us locate the images and understand their significance. He introduces the methodical and passionate men who made them , reviving some of the excitement fo those years and giving the reticent pictures new life.

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