Hawarden, Clementina

(1822—1865) photographer

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British photographer. Although she photographed for a mere eight years, exhibited only twice, and sold just a handful of prints, Lady Clementina was already recognized by contemporaries as a most influential photographer. Educated in her native Scotland, and London, she also spent nearly two years in the early 1840s in Rome, where she toured the great art collections. In 1845, back in London, she married the Hon. Cornwallis Maude. It was not until 1857, when her husband inherited the title of 4th Viscount Hawarden, that Lady Clementina made her first photographs, with a stereo camera. These early images were sometimes views of the Hawarden estate at Dundrum, Ireland, but more often involved her growing family—eight of her ten children survived to adulthood. Although Hawarden photographed landscape and genre scenes, she is most famous for the images of her adolescent daughters, made in her London flat at 5 Princess Gardens, South Kensington. Using wet-collodion plates of various formats, she created striking portraits of the girls using natural light and often mirrors. Her ‘studies’, as she called them, were exhibited in 1863 and 1864 at the Photographic Society of London, where they won praise and, in 1864, a silver medal. She became a full member of the society in 1863. Hawarden declined to sell her prints publicly, except once in 1864 for a charity fête to found a women's art school.

From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.

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