Indian photography from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century remains ambiguous in history. The Great Within: Photographs of India and the British Raj in the 19th century features some of the subcontinent’s earliest photographs created in an era when India was a wide-open treasure trove for the British Crown.
The exhibition features prints by photographers and photography studios that worked and operated in India at the time, including Colin Murray, Felice Beato, Raja Deen Dayal and Bourne & Shepherd, one of the oldest photography studios in the world. Patronized by the upper echelons of the British Raj as well as Indian royalty, these artists took to photography, which was swiftly replacing painting as the primary tool for portraiture and documentation, not long after its invention in Europe. Their images feature portraits of Indian princes, Himalayan expeditions, landscape views, and architectural monuments, captured in all their grandeur.
(Photo: Colin Murray, Bourne & Shepherd & Co., Calcutta/ Clark Worswick, The Palace in the Lake, Oodeypore (Udaipur) #2277, 1872' on reverse, Edition 3/10, 19th century gold sealed albumen paper / Permanent carbon digital print transcribed onto Hahnemühle museum etching paper, 23¾ x 39⅞ in. (60.5 x 101.2 cm.), 1872 / atelier Worswick 2017)