|Dates: ||1792 - 1861|
At the March 1839 meeting of the Society of Arts in Edinburgh, Dr. Fyfe gave a speech on "Mr. Talbotís Process of Photogenic Drawing." A lecturer in chemistry and professor of medicine at Edinburgh University, Fyfe went beyond a mere lecture to demonstrate the production of an actual photograph, using oxyhydrogen light as a source. This was the first of three active demonstrations of photography that he presented to the society that year, and he would go one to be awarded an honorary silver medal for their combined effect. In the earliest years of photography, Fyfe was both an enthusiastic reporter and a participant, inventing his own direct positive process on paper and analyzing the daguerreotype, but his interest was always more in scientific understanding than in creative expression, and none of his photographs are known to have survived.
Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007)
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is included here with permission.
Date last updated: 4 Nov 2012.
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