See 19th-Century Portraits by a Pioneering Woman Photographer

May Day, 1866. Photo: © Marta Weiss 2015 courtesy MACK

The last time there was a museum exhibition of Julia Margaret Cameron’s photos, the year was 1865, and she was hardly a popular photographer: Her portraits were often scratched and out of focus. It’s only in the 150 years since that those features — intentional, on Cameron’s part — have gotten her recognition as one of the 19th century’s pioneering photographers. A century and a half later, her photos are back on display at the V&A in London, released along with a new book on Cameron by Marta Weiss.

Cameron shot society men and even the likes of Charles Darwin, but most often, she photographed children and younger women she knew, making them into biblical or storied subjects — mythological characters like Circe, and legends like King Arthur. Click through the slideshow to see for yourself.

See Portraits by a Pioneering Woman Photographer