AGO: Exploring the Art of Victorian Photocollage

Published: April 21st 2010
in Culture » Art

Maria Harriet Elizabeth Cator, untitled page from the Cator Album, late 1860s/70s
Pic: Hans P. Kraus, Jr., New York
Kate Edith Gough, untitled page from the Gough Album, late 1870s
Pic: V&A; Images/Victoria & Albert Museum, London

In the first comprehensive exhibition dedicated to Victorian photocollage, the AGO is showcasing the art of aristocratic women of the 1860s and 1870s that combines photographs and watercolours.


Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage explores this little-known art form with over 40 works on display, including framed collages, full albums in display cases, and interactive virtual albums on computer monitors. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the Madame B Album, featuring more than 140 pages of photographs and watercolour designs, part of the collection from the Art Institute of Chicago.


“This exhibition allows us a playful look into the lives of Victorian women, whose sharp wit and absurd sense of humour debunks the strict conventions of aristocratic society,” says Sophie Hackett, AGO assistant curator of photography. “This was a forum for ladies of the time to showcase their talents and challenge our ideas about photography in the 1870s. They’re surprising and irreverent.”


Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage runs June 5 to September 5, 2010. The AGO is hosting a lecture with curator Elizabeth Siegel on Sat. June 5. To register, visit For more information, visit


Related articles: (art, AGO, victorian, photocollage, photography, watercolour)

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