Benjamin Brecknell Turner

One of the earliest British amateur photographers, Benjamin Brecknell Turner was experimenting with photography barely ten years after the invention of the medium. He exhibited widely during his lifetime and is best known for his beautiful photographs of 19th-century England, picturesque ruins and rural scenes.

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A founder member of the Photographic Society of London, Turner contributed to the rapid technical and aesthetic development of photography in the 1850s. Our collection includes a unique album compiled by Turner, 'Photographic Views from Nature', containing some of the earliest photographs made in and around the counties of Worcestershire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Yorkshire, alongside the radical modern architecture of the Crystal Palace in London's Hyde Park.

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Background image: Hedgerow trees, Clerkenleap, photograph by Benjamin Brecknell Turner, 19th century, England. Museum no. PH.15-1982. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London