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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Calvert Richard Jones

Names:
Other: Calvert R. Jones 
Other: Calvert Richard Jones, Jr. 
Other: Reverend Calvert Jones 
Other: Reverend Calvert Richard Jones, Jr. 
Dates:  1804 - 1877
Born:  Great Britain
Active:  Great Britain / Mediterranean
 
  

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Calvert Richard Jones
Courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK)

 
  
Educated at Oxford and a mathematician, musician, painter and parson, Calvert Richard Jones was introduced to photography by a cousin of Talbot. In 1845 he travelled to Malta and Italy, returning with a collection of photographs. He sold his prints through Talbot and continued to make photographs whilst travelling. He was also one of the first members of the Photographic Society of London.
 
Calvert Richard Jones was one of the first to learn of W.H. F Talbot's photographic discoveries in the late 1830s through Talbot's friends and relations who lived near to Jones in South Wales. Jones subsequently became one of the few Britons to produced a substantial body of calotypes in Britain and abroad. His work stands out in the early development of photography because of his ability to fuse his technical skill with the influence of his training as a watercolorist. 
  
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Victoria & Albert Museum and is included here with permission. 
  
Date last updated: 11 Nov 2011. 
  
SHARED BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION PROJECT 
  
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
 
If you find any errors please email us details so they can be corrected as soon as possible.
 
  

Approved biography for Calvert Richard Jones
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

 
  
Jones was the most artistically accomplished of the photographers in Talbotís circle. While taking a first class degree in mathematics at Oxford he formed a close friendship with Talbotís cousin, Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (ďKitĒ), initially based on their mutual love of mathematics and music. In 1829 Jones entered unenthusiastically into holy orders in Wales, near Penllergare, the home of John Dillwyn Llewelyn. His friendship with Kit Talbot blossomed along with their shared passion for travel and fast yachts, the funding being supplied by Talbot and the artistic underpinning by Jones, who emerged as a gifted dilettante, adept with the camera lucida and a close observer of the marine subjects of his native Swansea. Jones was one of the first to learn of Talbotís photogenic drawing in 1839, but initially he was more drawn to daguerreotypy, which he practiced with enthusiasm and success. He served as a bridge between Hippolyte Bayard in France and Talbot in England, helping to forge the first bonds between photographers on paper from the rival camps. In 1844 Jones was stunned by the prints in Talbotís The Pencil of Nature and was immediately seduced by the prospect of creating photographs on paper, a medium he was intimately familiar with through his work in watercolors. While traveling around the Mediterranean with Kit Talbot, moving about Britain, and residing in Swansea, Jones produced hundreds of calotype negatives. Architecture, shipping, and the romance of the common workingman were his favored subjects, as they were in his paintings.
 
Jones sometimes waxed his negatives after development but never strayed far from Talbotís original formula, of which he was an undisputed master. Ever conscious that his financial state fell short of supporting his desired life-style, he began producing and selling negatives to Talbot for use at Nicolaas Hennemanís printing establishment. This mirrored a practice already common among print sellers, but the presence of Jonesís original negatives within Talbotís archive has led to much confusion of attribution. In 1847 Jones was on the verge of entering into a more serious commercial photographic arrangement with Talbot but changed his mind when he unexpectedly came into an inheritance with the death of his father. Relations were strained for a while, but Jones and Talbot were soon friends again, the younger man never forgetting who had given him a new art, and the inventor seeing in his artistic acolyte the very best realization of his ambitions for photography. The obligations of his new estate preoccupied Jones during the late 1840s, leading to a lapse in his photographic work, but about 1850 he and his artist wife Anne once again began to travel, and Jones returned to the camera. In 1853 he became a member of the council of the Photographic Society in London, but he never participated in the societyís exhibitions. Later that year Jones moved to Brussels, where he greatly increased his photographic activity. On Anneís premature death Jones returned to Britain, taking up residence in Bath and in 1858 marrying a much younger woman. After his death his estate was dispersed, and very little is known about his artistic activities after the mid-1850s. Jonesís photographic legacy is largely preserved within Talbotís archives, perhaps a fitting conclusion for one of the most successful symbiotic relationships in the history of early photography. 
  
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. 
  
SHARED BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION PROJECT 
  
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
 
If you find any errors please email us details so they can be corrected as soon as possible.
 
  

Further research

 
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Portraits 
  
If you have a portrait of this photographer or know of the whereabouts of one we would be most grateful. 
  
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Family history 
  
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Visual indexes

 
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Internet biographies

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Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA has a biography on this photographer. [Scroll down the page on this website as the biography may not be immediately visible.]Show on this siteGo to website
 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

 
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Calvert Richard Jones.] 
  
 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

 
• Naef, Weston 1995 The J. Paul Getty Museum - Handbook of the Photographic Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum) p.26-27 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
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