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Cameron, Julia Margaret

Cameron, Julia Margaret

Julia Margaret Cameron

1815 - 1879

Julia Margaret Pattle was born in British India, on June 11, 1815, the daughter of an official in the Bengal Civil Service and a descendant of the French aristocracy. After her early years she received an education in France and England, returning to India in 1834. Four years later, in 1838, she married Charles Hay Cameron, twenty years her senior (Lukitsh 285). In 1848, after Charles retired, he and Julia returned to England where they raised five children, adding a sixth in 1857 when they adopted Mary Ryan. Through Julia's sister, Sarah Prinsep, the new arrivals cultivated a wide circle of elite, intellectual friends. It is this company of friends, family, and servants that Cameron used as models for her "tableux vivants" (Lukitsh 286).

In the course of her lifetime Cameron would come to know of the push for women's emancipation, the end of slavery in America, and the emergence of a new medium -- photography. Through her photography, Cameron expanded on the Victorian ideal and transcended her family legacy of women noted solely for their beauty. The aristocratic salons fostered her intellectual and artistic interest, and her social position afforded her the opportunity to pursue the arts and sciences while managing an active household.

In 1860, the family business required Charles and his sons to return to Sri Lanka, at which time the remainder of the family took up residence in Freshwater, Isle of Wight. It was then that Cameron became a neighbor and close friend to Alfred Lord Tennyson and his family.

By 1863, the coffee plantations, which provided the Camerons with the time and resources to entertain, began to suffer. Charles was again called away and, in his absence, Julia


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Links to other sites pertaining to Julia Margaret Cameron

The George Eastman House

Julia Margaret Cameron Trust

Wellesley College

MFA Boston


Getty Collection

Claremont Scripps Collection


Leonora, Translated by Julia Margaret Cameron. Illustrations by Daniel Maclise. London, Gottfried August Bürger, 1847.
"Annals of My Glass House." Written by Julia Margaret Cameron in 1874; published in Photographic Journal L1(N.S.) (July 1927): 296-301.
"On a Portrait." Written by Julia Margaret Cameron. Dated September, 1875; published Macmillan's Magazine, 33 (Feb. 1876): 372.


Armstrong, Nancy. "Modernism's Iconophobia and What it Did to Gender." Modernism/Modernity 5.2 (1998): 47-75.

Bogardus, Ralph F. Pictures and Texts. Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press, 1984.

Cameron, Julia Margaret Pattle. Illustrations to Tennyson's Idylls of the King, and other Poems. London: Henry S. King, 1875.

Johnson, William S., Mark Rice, and Carla Williams. Photography: From 1838 to Today, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY Koln; New York: Tashen, 1999.

Lukitsh, Joanne. "'Simply Pictures of Peasants': Artistry, Anthropology, and Ideology in Julia Margaret Cameron's Photography in Sri Lanka." The Yale Journal of Criticism 9.2 (1996): 283-308.

Malcolm, Janet. "The Genius of the Glass House." The New York Review. 4 Feb 1999: 10-15.

Millard, Charles W. "Julia Margaret Cameron and Tennyson's 'Idylls of the King'" in the Harvard Library Bulletin. 21.2 (April 1973): 187-201.

Mozley, Anita Ventura. "Mrs. Cameron's Photographs from the Life." Palo Alto: Stanford University Museum of Art, 1974.

Tennyson, Lord Alfred. Idylls of the King. London: Penguin, 1983.

Walch, Peter. For My Beloved Sister, Mia. University of New Mexico Art Museum, 1994.

Weaver, Mike. Whisper of the Muse. Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986.

Weaver, Mike. Julia Margaret Cameron: 1815-1879. London: The Herbert Press, Ltd., 1984.