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HomeContents > People > Photographers > William Glynn

Dates:  1821 - ?
Active:  India
 
  

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for William Glynn
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

 
  
Glynn served with the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India from 1840 to 1846, continuing on in other administrative posts in the country. He may have first begun photography in 1855 while on an excursion through Tibet and Kashmir taken for his health. The next year Glynn was elected to the Photographic Society of Bengal, where he displayed a series of photographs of Agra and Kashmir that were much admired for their sharpness of detail and subtlety of tone. Glynn and Dr. John Murray exhibited waxed-paper views at the society in 1857; its Journal observed in the May 20 issue that “in point of size if not in quality the paper process had the advantage of the Collodion views.” The article also noted that “the difficulties in the preparation and preservation of the materials” for wet collodion, along with the cumbersome and fragile glass plates, “have prevented its being yet applied with that success to the more interesting classes of Indian subject.” 
  
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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Portraits 
  
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John Falconer, British Library 
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia

 
Amateur, India
Appointed to Great Trigonometrical Survey, Sep 1840; Bhutan, 1840-2; married a Miss Donnelly, 1842; Himalayas, 1843-4; Karara, 1844; retired, 1846; Assistant Commissioner, Oudh 1868.
 
A series of his photographs of Kashmir and Agra were shown to the Photographic Society of Bengal in October 1856 and were much admired for sharpness of detail and subtlety of tone: ‘Mr Glynn last eyar made an excursion through the Thibet mountains and Cashmere for the benefit of his health, and there collected a large number of excellent views, in addition to those which he had formerly made in Upper India...much admired for their extreme beauty and sharpness of detail, the softness of half tints, and the general artistic effect produced’.[1]
 
Elected to membership of the Photographic Society of Bengal, 24 December 1856.[2]
 
Exhibited 21 prints from collodion negatives at the Photographic Society of Bengal Exhibition of March 1857: views of Agra, Srinagar and Kashmir, portrait of Lt Montgomerie and Lieut-Col Waugh with 3” theodolite. 
  
 
  

Footnotes 
  
  1. Λ Journal of the Photographic Society of Bengal, no. 2, 21 Jan 1857. 
      
  2. Λ Journal of the Photographic Society of Bengal, no. 2, 20 May 1856. 
      
 
  

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