Famed photography album at risk of leaving the UK

Arts Minister Michael Ellis has placed a temporary export bar on Images from the Life (the Norman Album), by Julia Margaret Cameron, to provide an opportunity to keep it in the country.

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) pioneered the portrait photography format and became known for her striking portraits of celebrities of the time, as well as for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary or heroic themes.

Arranged in a single sequence from front to back, it includes some of her finest and best-known portraits, including her niece Julia Jackson (the mother of Virginia Woolf), scientist and polymath John Herschel, poet Alfred Tennyson and famed naturalist Charles Darwin.

Between 1864 and 1869, Cameron assembled a number of albums for her family, friends and close acquaintances. She embraced the album format, seeing it as an expressive medium which allowed her to present herself and her work in an artistic way.

The decision on the export licence application for the album will be deferred until 5 May. This may be extended until 5 September if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made at the recommended price of £3,700,000. Organisations or individuals interested in purchasing the album should contact the RCEWA on 0845 300 6200.

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