Stereoscopes from the Sir Brian May Archive talk

Photo historian Denis Pellerin
Event date
Event time
14:00 - 15:00
Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont Street
Venue details

In the Headley Lecture Theatre

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

With photo historian Denis Pellerin, from the Sir Brian May Archive of Stereoscopy

This event is onsite only
Booking essential
Tickets £8

In this fascinating talk with photo historian Denis Pellerin, you'll discover original stereoscopic images from Sir Brian May’s unique collection and see how the Victorians not only hand-tinted photographs but made them 3D.

When photography was revealed to the world in the Victorian era, a lot of people expressed their disappointment at realising that the images from the camera obscura did not reproduce natural colours but looked more like etchings. Hand tinting therefore became very popular until different processes producing true colours were developed.

Similarly, when Sir Charles Wheatstone started using photographs with the device he had invented in 1832, he was not impressed. To create the illusion of the three-dimensionality of natural vision his instrument, the Stereoscope, used two mirrors which made difficult the observation of the very highly polished surface of the first daguerreotypes.

The first teething issues of stereo photography were gradually solved, however, and the craze for stereoscopy started, which saw millions of 3D images produced.

Today these intriguing stereoscopic photographs are collectors' items.