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D is for Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond… Photography and the pseudoscience of physiognomy

14 Feb
D is for Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond… Photography and the pseudoscience of physiognomy

La fotografía en psiquiatría.

National Media Museum blog

For the next step of my alphabetical wander through the National Photography Collection, I have chosen the work of one of the major figures in early British photography who is now best known for his pioneering use of photography as a medical tool and for his haunting portraits of the mentally ill.

Portrait of Dr. Hugh Diamond, 1869, Henry Peach Robinson, The Royal Photographic Society Collection, National Media MuseumPortrait of Dr. Hugh Diamond, 1869, Henry Peach Robinson, The Royal Photographic Society Collection, National Media Museum

Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond was one of the most important figures in early British photography. He made his first photographs in April 1839, just three months after the announcement of photography’s invention. In the 1840s he befriended one of his patients, Frederick Scott Archer and subsequently became one of the first people to use Archer’s collodion process.

Diamond published articles on photography in several journals and, in 1853, became one of the founder members of the Photographic Society…

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