An Exclusive Talk for Members of the Ashmolean

For those attending in person, the talk is in the Museum's Headley Lecture Theatre

Tea, coffee and cake will be served from 3pm

The online event will be held on Zoom

With Professor Geoffrey Batchen, who is Professor of History of Art at the University of Oxford and a specialist in the history of photography. His most recent book is Inventing Photography: William Henry Fox Talbot in the Bodleian Library (2023). 

This talk will introduce the daguerreotype photographic process, the first publicly available form of photography, and the culture that grew up around it in early Victorian society.

The daguerreotype was invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787–1851) and spread rapidly around the world after its presentation to the public in Paris in 1839. Produced on a silvered sheet of copper and announced in Paris in 1839, there were soon millions of daguerreotypes being made across the globe.

Daguerreotypes were usually monochrome images, but efforts were soon made to add colour to their surfaces. By focusing on some of these efforts, Professor Batchen's talk will aim to place daguerreotype culture in the context of the Museum's Colour Revolution exhibition.

Studio of Richard Beard (English, 1801-1885) Portrait bust of a man c. 1845 Hand-painted daguerreotype in a leather case

Hand-painted daguerreotype portrait bust of a man from the Studio of Richard Beard, c. 1845 © Private Collection

Please note, this event will be recorded and the recording will be sent to ticketholders on request after the event.


Tickets are £15 in-person and £10 online. Tickets are only available to Ashmolean Members

This talk will take place in the Ashmolean's Lecture Theatre (in-person) and on Zoom (online)


If you have any questions before the event, please email us at membership@ashmus.ox.ac.uk

Find out more about Ashmolean Membership: Become a Member