Benjamin Brecknell Turner (1815-94) was one of the first, and remains one of the greatest, British photographers. His images were highly praised during his lifetime for their rustic beauty and grandeur.
Turner was born in London in 1815. At 16 he entered work there in the family candle and saddle soap business. In 1849 he took out a licence to practice paper negative photography from its inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot, when the new art was barely 10 years old. Turner quickly mastered the art and exhibited at the world's first public photographic exhibition, held at London's Society of Arts in 1852, where he was singled out as one of the best contributors. In 1855 he won a medal at the Paris Exhibition Universelle and continued exhibiting his photographs until the 1880s.
Benjamin Brecknell Turner
Albumen print from paper negative
Museum no. PH.54-1982