|Dates: ||1818 - ?|
As he wrote in his 1855 Photography, Rev. Marshall, like many others, owed his mastery of the art of calotypy to the published instructions of “one of its earliest Amateurs, George Cundell.” Another early calotypist, Henry D. Taylor, remembered Marshall as one of his colleagues. Based in Peterborough, Marshall showed eight Talbotypes, mostly views in Kent, in the 1854 exhibition of the Royal Infirmary Fund in Dundee and a similar group that year at the Photographic Society in London. In 1855 his subjects were Peterborough Cathedral and Canterbury for the exhibition at the Photographic Institution in London, while at the Photographic Society he displayed fifteen calotypes as well as a group of four collodion views. Marshall’s Photography was an impassioned plea for the importance of photography for preserving the memory of the architectural fabric of the nation. Echoing thoughts expressed earlier in Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature, Marshall exclaimed: “What would we not give for such memorials of those noble piles of buildings formerly connected with our Cathedral . . . but which have fallen into ruin and decay by the ravages of Time, and the still more destructive hands of wanton violence or ignorant innovation? Photography, had it been known, would have rescued from oblivion such valuable records, and no longer left it to the uncertain light of conjecture whereby to trace out the foundation walls, and, from the ivyed arch and broken column scattered here and there, to restore as we may, in our imagination, those edifices.”
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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