Salt and Silver: Early Photography 1840-1860

Tate Britain

25 February – 7 June 2015

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The first exhibition in Britain devoted to salted paper prints, one of the earliest forms of photography.

In dipping writing paper first in a solution of common salt, then partly drying it, coating it with silver nitrate, then drying it again, before applying further coats of silver nitrate, William Henry Fox Talbot pioneered what became known as the salt print. The specifically soft and luxurious aesthetic was an icon of modern visual language.

Such prints were, however, extremely fragile and few survive, which explains why this is the first exhibition devoted to the medium in the UK. Organised in collaboration with the film producer and Art Fund trustee Michael Wilson’s Wilson Centre for Photography, it brings together a rare collection of some of the finest still lifes, landscapes and portraits produced using this method. 

Venue information

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 6pm (last admission 5.15pm)
Closed 24 – 26 Dec

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)