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    Elizabeth Thompson and ‘Patsy’ Cornwallis West as Carte-de-visite celebrities

    Di Bello, Patrizia (2011) Elizabeth Thompson and ‘Patsy’ Cornwallis West as Carte-de-visite celebrities. History of Photography 35 (3), pp. 240-249. ISSN 0308-7298.

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    This essay places Elizabeth Thompson's (later Lady Butler, 1846–1933) sensational success at the 1874 Royal Academy exhibition, and the negotiations over the sale of copyrights of her work, in the context of an art world being reconfigured by the commercialisation and the commodification of images, including those by and of women. It shows how photography – in particular, carte-de-visite portraits of artists – played an important role in this burgeoning market, and in the new laws required to regulate it. It uses the later example of Mary (‘Patsy’) Cornwallis West (née Fitzpatrick, 1858–1920) to illuminate Thompson's unease at being photographed; the confusion concerning copyright laws and the sale of photographic portraits to the public; and the ambivalent fascination of the time with photographs of women celebrities as ‘professional beauties’.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Elizabeth Thompson, Lady Butler (1846–1933), Mary (‘Patsy’) Cornwallis West (1858–1920), 1862 ‘Fine Arts Copyright Act’, women artists, nineteenth-century celebrity culture, carte-de-visite, copyright of photographs, professional beauties, The Roll Call
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Nineteenth-Century Studies, Centre for
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2013 14:42
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:02


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