14 February 2013
David Hockney, one of the most influential contemporary British artists, has offered his support to Bodleian’s fundraising campaign to save the Personal Archive of William Henry Fox Talbot, the British ‘father of photography’. Hockney’s support comes at a critical time for the campaign as the Bodleian Libraries have just two more weeks to raise £2.25 million, the amount needed to acquire the archive.
David Hockney said: ‘Art and photography have often been regarded as opposing movements. The archive of William Henry Fox Talbot reminds us that this is not, and never was the case. Photography emerged out of Talbot’s dual interest in science and art, and he continued to develop and refine both of these aspects as photography grew and matured. I strongly support the Bodleian’s plans to bring the Talbot archive back to these shores and to make it accessible, as Talbot’s life and work remain a powerful influence and example for artists of all kinds today.’
David Hockney is the latest in a long line of prominent cultural and academic figures who have lent their support to the campaign:
- two of the world’s greatest photographers Martin Parr and Hiroshi Sugimoto;
- scientists: Sir Paul Nurse, President of The Royal Society; Sir Michael Berry, FRS, Melville Wills Professor of Physics, (Emeritus), University of Bristol;
- historians: Colin Ford, CBE, Founding Head, National Media Museum; Prof Martin Kemp, FBA former Prof of Art History, University of Oxford;
- Michael Pritchard, President of the Royal Photographic Society.
All the supporters have emphasized the importance of the Personal Archive of Fox Talbot for research in various academic fields, from science to arts, history and political sciences. This is a testimony to Talbot’s significant contributions to fields as diverse as Assyriology, astronomy, botany, electricity, etymology, mathematics, optics and politics.
More details about the archive can be found here. If you would like to contribute towards the fundraising campaign please visit our Giving Pages.