The Art of the Photogravure
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January 12th, 2010

Photographic Art Treasures

Roger Fenton, Water Gate, Raglan Castle, 1856

Roger Fenton, Water Gate, Raglan Castle, 1856

Google alerts are great if you are searching for information on obscure subjects.  That is exactly how I discovered Paul Morgan.  Paul was offering a talk at the National Media Museum entitled ‘Paul Pretsch and Photogalvanography 1850 – 1870’.  Surprised not only to find someone interested in the subject but also to see one of photography’s most prestigious institutions offering a talk on photogralvonagraphy, I emailed Paul to introduce myself and see if he would let me read his lecture.


Paul and I have since had in depth correspondence about Pretsch.  He has provided me with a plethora of images and text regarding Pretsch, photogalvanography and Fenton.  Eventually,  I asked for Paul’s bio.  Expecting to see something like Professor of Art History – Oxford, I was surprised to see that he is a layperson with a passion for creating, learning and writing — rendering his work on Pretsch all the more impressive.


From Paul’s bio….”I was educated at Rossall, then took a degree in Communication Studies at Aston in Birmingham. Have been through quite a variety of jobs, but the main spell was living and working with profoundly handicapped youngsters. Have always been involved in the arts, my own output including painting, drawing, photography, poetry, drama, and prose. Usually occupied in writing of some variety, in latter years mainly odd articles, covering subjects from local history to Captain Morgan the pirate.  My interest in Pretsch came about from finding some photogalvanographic prints, but very little information about them.  I ended up spending a decade intermittently pursuing the full story. Now have turned my attention to an investigation of the Battle of Loos in 1915, where my maternal Grandfather died.”


Paul has generously agreed to let me publish his work on Pretsch in the text section of the site.  It is as comprehensive essay on Photogalvanography you’ll find, celebrating the forgotten innovation that lead to the first published photographic art portfolio in ink – Photographic Art Treasures.

Thank you Paul.


16 Responses to “Photographic Art Treasures”

  1. Ian says:

    I noticed you mention the photogalvanography process but in the photos section you have wood cuts and photogravuer prints. I was wondering if you knew of an examples of a print done with the photogalvanography process. I would love to show one in one of my lectured slide shows for the history of photography and have yet to find an example online.

    Also great post, keep up with the awesome history finds.

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