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Indepth Arts News:

"Light in the Darkness: The Photographs of Hill and Adamson"
1999-07-20 until 1999-10-10
J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, CA, USA United States of America

From July 20 through October 10, 1999, the J. Paul Getty Museum will present Light in the Darkness: The Photographs of Hill and Adamson, an exhibition of photographs by David Octavius Hill (1802-1870) and Robert Adamson (1821-1848). In 1840s Scotland, they formed one of the most celebrated partnerships in the history of photography. The exhibition includes about 20 rare photographs (including five images in albums) drawn from the Getty Museumís collection of more than 460 salted paper prints and six negatives by Hill and Adamson, along with a small selection of works in other media.

Hill, a painter, and Adamson, an engineer, initially teamed up to prepare photographic studies for Hillís large historical painting commemorating the formation of the Free Church of Scotland. The four-and-a-half-year partnership blossomed into a remarkable body of collaborative photographs. The exhibition features images of famous scholars, scientists, and ministers, among them the Rev. Dr. James McCosh, who became a president of Princeton University, and the Rev. Peter Jones, whose portrait may be one of the earliest surviving photographs of a Native American.

Light in the Darkness: The Photographs of Hill and Adamson has been organized by Anne M. Lyden, curatorial assistant, Department of Photographs.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum has published a book, In Focus: Hill and Adamson, that examines the nature of their artistic collaboration and reproduces 47 images from the Museumís collection with commentary by Ms. Lyden. Also included are a chronology of significant events in the history of the Hill and Adamson alliance and an edited transcript of a colloquium on the artists held at the Getty Center in 1997 with participants Ms. Lyden; Weston Naef, Curator of Photographs, the J. Paul Getty Museum; Sara Stevenson, Curator of Photographs, Scottish National Portrait Gallery; A.D. Morrison-Low, Curator of Historic Scientific Instruments and Photography, National Museums of Scotland; Jonathan Reff, photographer, Los Angeles; Michael Wilson, private collector, Los Angeles and London; and David Featherstone, independent editor and curator, San Francisco. The book contains 146 pages, 55 duotone illustrations, and one foldout (ISBN 0-89236-540-4). It is available in the Museum bookstore (softcover, $16.95) or via the Internet at www.getty.edu/publications.

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