Feb 10, 2022 - Sale 2594

Sale 2594 - Lot 6

Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 25,000
Baby Blossom (Portrait of Alice Keown). Albumen print from a wet collodion negative, the image measuring 13 3/8x11 inches (34x28 cm.), the mount 20 1/2x17 7/8 inches (52.1x45.4 cm.), with Cameron's signature and notation "From Life Not Enlarged," in ink, "Baby Blossom," in pencil, in an unknown hand, and the Colnaghi blind stamp, on mount recto. Circa 1866

Additional Details

In the summer of 1865, Cameron began using larger format 15x12-inch glass negatives. She embarked upon a series of large-scale, close-up portraits, which she saw as a rejection of conventional photography in favor of a less precise but more emotionally compelling kind of portraiture. She wrote to Henry Cole that she intended this new series to "electrify you with delight and startle the world."

There are no other prints known of this portrait of Alice Keown. She was the daughter of Thomas Keown, and Cameron also photographed her sister Elizabeth and brother Percy. Alice was not known as Baby Blossom, so it is thought that perhaps Cameron took the title from Ida White's recently published poem.

This print was exhibited in Photographs from the Collection of Gary and Barbara Hansen, the Saint Louis Art Museum, June 23 - August 9, 1987

Julian Cox, Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs (The J. Paul Getty Museum), cat. no. 878, p. 384; Larry J. Schaaf, Sun Pictures Catalogue Twenty, Julia Margaret Cameron (Hans P. Kraus), no. 6, p. 22-23