Dec 5, 2007

Julia and Ethel Arnold

Julia and Ethel Arnold


Lewis Carroll

(British, 1832–1898)

Albumen print from wet collodion negative

Image: 14.9 x 12.5 cm (5 7/8 x 4 15/16 in.); Matted: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1996.11



Best known as the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, mathematician, lecturer, and church deacon Charles Dodgson was an avid amateur photographer. His subjects were wide ranging but he has become best known for his portraits of children, which avoid the formal, formulaic quality of studio portraiture of the time. Julia was 10 and Ethel was 6 when this photo was taken in Dodgson’s rooftop studio at Christ Church College, Oxford, on June 15, 1872. Ethel reminisced 57 years later that the times spent with Dodgson were “oases of brightness in a somewhat gray and melancholy childhood.” She also remembered that “for a nervous child . . . to keep still for forty-five seconds at a time was no mean ordeal.”

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