Oh, this is good to hear about, if a little far off in both time and geography. The Art Institute of Chicago, always a place to cherish the unconventional in photography, is to stage an exhibition of Victorian Photocollage (10th Oct 09 — 3rd Jan 10)…

“Sixty years ahead of the avant-garde, aristocratic Victorian women were already experimenting with photocollage. The compositions they made with photographs and watercolors are whimsical and fantastical, combining human heads and animal bodies, placing people into imaginary landscapes, and morphing faces into common household objects. With sharp wit and dramatic shifts of scale akin to those Alice experienced in Wonderland, these images stand the rather serious conventions of photography in the 1860s and 1870s on their heads. […] the best albums and loose pages from collections across the United States, Europe, and Australia.”


Photomontage history, outside of the leftist political avant-garde of the 1920s & 30s, is not really an active research area — but hopefully there’ll be enough of a market for the Institute to publish a printed catalogue.