Attaining An Ideal : Time, Technology And The Victorian Family Composite
thesisposted on 08.06.2021, 07:38 authored by Anne-Marie Walsh
Combined photographic imagery is a broad and varied category of photography even when narrowed down to nineteenth-century iterations such as the composite technique. While a general understanding of composite photography exists, there is a lack of scholarship regarding a specific variant, the Victorian family composite. Using a study group of five Victorian family composites and photocollages, this thesis explores the importance of the family and of photography in Victorian society in order to arrive at an understanding of the particular motivations behind choosing the composite technique to represent the family. The determining factors include the need to overcome the technical and logistical limitations of nineteenth-century photography, as well as the aesthetics inherent to the composite process. Although the full trajectory of composite photography is not traced, definitions of major nineteenth and early twentieth-century combined imagery techniques are offered in order to contextualize the images discussed.