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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Peter Henry Emerson
English, 1856–1936

The Gladdon Cutter’s Return, from Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads

Platinum print, 1886
Purchased with funds given by an anonymous donor, 1977.8

Peter Henry Emerson was a photographer with “radical and far reaching concepts.” Emerson initiated what would become a broad-ranging battle for photography to be accepted as a form of artistic expression. During the Victorian era of staged, “prettified” photographs, Emerson’s images of the agrarian working class were direct and unsentimental. They have much in common with the prints of Jean François Millet (see Millet’s work nearby), whose work Emerson admired.