Featuring more than 100 seldom-displayed salt prints from the Wilson
Centre for Photography, this extraordinary exhibition provides a rare
chance to experience some of the earliest photographs ever made, by many
of the most important and groundbreaking figures in the history of the
photographic medium. Salt & Silver surveys the first two
decades of photography’s evolution through the salted paper print
process, unveiled in 1839 by English scientist and scholar William Henry
Fox Talbot (1800 – 1877). Talbot’s invention was a scientific and
artistic breakthrough that created an entirely new visual experience.
The technique—which used the simple compounds of salt and silver—was
efficient, portable, and versatile, traits that allowed the practice of
photography to spread across the globe from the early 1840s onward.
Featuring the work of more than 40 practitioners, Salt & Silver traces
their networks and geographical reach from England into Europe, North
Africa, the Middle East, India, China, Mexico, and the United States.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art presentation is the final opportunity to
see this exhibition after being on view at the Yale Center for British
Art, New Haven, CT, and the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps
College, Claremont, CA. Salt & Silver: Early Photography 1840–1860 has been organized by the Wilson Centre for Photography, London with the Yale Center for British Art.