matters photographical

Giles Hudson

Sarah Angelina Acland, Photographer

Press Release:

Sarah Angelina Acland re-discovered as one of the Pioneers of Colour Photography

Oxford, September 2012 – A richly illustrated book from Bodleian Library Publishing on the life, career, and pictures of pioneering photographic artist Sarah Angelina Acland sheds new light on the history of colour photography.

Sarah Angelina Acland (1849–1930) is one of the most important photographers of the late Victorian and early Edwardian periods. Daughter of the Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford, she was photographed by Lewis Carroll as a child, along with her close friend Ina Liddell, sister of Alice of Wonderland fame. The critic John Ruskin taught her art and she also knew many of the Pre-Raphaelites, holding Rossetti’s palette for him as he painted the Oxford Union murals. At the age of nineteen she met the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, whose influence is evident in her early work.

Following in the footsteps of Cameron and Carroll, Miss Acland first came to attention as a portraitist, photographing illustrious visitors to her Oxford home. In 1900 she then turned to the fledgling field of colour photography. Specializing in the ‘Sanger Shepherd process’, she became the leading colour photographer of the day. Her colour photographs were regarded as the finest that had ever been seen by her contemporaries, several years before the release of the Lumière Autochrome system, which she also practised.

This new book provides the only opportunity to see Miss Acland’s photographs, illustrating more than 200 examples of her work, from portraits to picturesque views of the gardens of Madeira. Some fifty unpublished specimens of the photographic art and science of her peers are also reproduced from the Bodleian collections, including four unrecorded child portraits by Carroll. Detailed descriptions accompany the images, explaining their interest and significance.

A rich introduction to the beginnings of colour photography, this book not only sheds important light on the history of photography in the period, but also offers a fascinating insight into the lives of a pre-eminent English family and their circle of friends.

For more information please contact:
Su Wheeler, Marketing and Sales Coordinator, Bodleian Library Publishing
Tel: 01865 283850, email:


 Bodleian Library Publishing has a diverse list of general interest and scholarly books on a wide range of subjects drawn from or related to the Library’s rich collections of manuscripts, rare books, maps, postcards and other printed ephemera. Details at

 Founded in 1602, the Bodleian Library is home to over 10 million volumes and a large number of manuscripts and rare printed books. It is the largest university library in Britain and the second largest library in the UK. It is one of some thirty libraries of Oxford University within the Bodleian Libraries group. More information about the Bodleian Library and its activities can be found at

 Sarah Angelina Acland: First Lady of Colour Photography, Bodleian Library Publishing
Giles Hudson
Product format: 304 pp, hardback, 278 x 245 mm, 188 monochrome images and 124 colour images
ISBN: 978 1 85124 372 3
Price: £45.00
Publication: 13 September 2012


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