pittsburgh

Julia Margaret Cameron, The Kiss of Peace, 1869, albumen print from wet-plate collodion negative, 12 3/4 x 9 1/2".

Julia Margaret Cameron

Frick Art & Historical Center

Julia Margaret Cameron, The Kiss of Peace, 1869, albumen print from wet-plate collodion negative, 12 3/4 x 9 1/2".

With “For My Best Beloved Sister Mia: An Album of Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron,” the Pittsburgh Frick organized this nineteenth-century photographer’s fecund practice around the contents of a mammoth tome containing works that the artist dedicated to her sister. The collection of seventy images includes photographs by Oscar Rejlander and Lewis Carroll and forty-seven taken by Cameron herself.

While the actual album occupied a vitrine at the center of the main gallery, its heft and inaccessibility intimating entombment, the individual photographs, by contrast, unfolded the filaments of Cameron’s family—immediate, extended, and adopted. In effect, the installation dissolved a binary of visibility versus interiority, a sensibility held by the Victorian culture in which Cameron worked. Though the exhibition paid lip service to Cameron’s putative rehearsal of received

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