Sep 11, 2007

Newhaven Fishwives, Jeanie Wilson and Annie Linton

Newhaven Fishwives, Jeanie Wilson and Annie Linton


David Octavius Hill

(British, 1802-1870)

and Robert Adamson

(British, 1821-1848)

Salted paper print from calotype negative

Image: 29.5 x 14.4 cm (11 5/8 x 5 11/16 in.); Matted: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1987.18



Hill and Adamson’s four-year collaboration yielded around 3,000 photographs, including portraits of members of the middle and upper classes and, in what may be the first social documentary project, of the working class. Included in their survey of contemporary life were numerous portraits of the fishermen’s wives in the villages around Edinburgh. The women, garbed in distinctive striped skirts and aprons, cleaned their husbands’ catch, then carried it in wicker baskets to the city where they offered it for sale. They were reported to be hard bargainers. Hill and Adamson respectfully recorded not only their likenesses but also their names.

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