|Dates: ||1797 - 1879|
|Active: ||Great Britain|
At Harrow, no two classmates were closer intellectually and spiritually than Trevelyan and Talbot, who shared a passion for botany. Trevelyan went on to study geology at Oxford under William Buckland and became a dedicated antiquary. He was also a social reformer, abstainer, a sincere believer in phrenology, and a promoter of concrete structures. Trevelyan discarded his first choice of a potential wife after a phreneological examination; at the 1833 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science he met seventeen-year-old Pauline Jermyn, who was to become his wife and his artistic inspiration. In September 1839, the first batch of photogenic drawings sent by his childhood friend Talbot caught up with Trevelyan in Arbroath. On Christmas Day 1839 Trevelyan entered these into David Reid’s exhibition in Edinburgh, thus giving Talbot his first public showing in Scotland. The Treveylans’ contact with photography was frequent, first in Glasgow, then in St. Andrews with Sir David Brewster and John Adamson. In Rome in 1842 Trevelyan worked in daguerreotype with Alan Maconochie, assisting especially in the compounding of chemicals, and he took a special interest in photographic engraving. In 1843 Trevelyan saw Hill & Adamson’s “capitol Calotypes” and by April 1844, he wrote in his diary, had “made some tolerably successful essays with Calotype” himself. He kept at it, becoming fairly adept. However, Sir Trevelyan’s largest accomplishment in photography was interesting his wife, Pauline Trevelyan, in the art.
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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