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August 7, 2016

John Cimon Warburg and His Atmospheric Autochrome: Dreamlike Color Photographs From the Early 20th Century

John Cimon Warburg (1867-1931) was in the enviable position of not having to work. His father had been one of the founders of the Central London Electric Railway and had amassed a considerable fortune. Consequently, the Warburg family migrated annually between their well-appointed London house in Kensington and their second home near Cannes. With no need to follow a profession, Warburg was free to immerse himself fully in other pursuits.

He took up photography in the late 1880s, becoming a member of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), one of the world’s oldest national photographic societies, in 1897. Warburg used a wide range of processes, but excelled at Autochromes. He is best known for his atmospheric landscapes and charming studies of his children. Warburg lectured and wrote extensively on the process and showed Autochromes at the annual RPS exhibition for twenty years. His sister, Agnes, was also a pioneer of color photography.

Margate beach, blue girl. 1915.

The orange stall. 1908.

Children by the breakwater. 1908.

Peggy reading. 1909.

Daydreams. 1909.

The Japanese parasol. 1909.


The green mat. 1909.

Birch trees on a river bank. 1909.

The Neptune Fountain, Cheltenham. 1910.

The last digger. 1910.

Girl with a bucket. 1915.

Girl in a white dress. 1915.

A small customer. 1915.

Peggy in the garden. 1909.

The butcher's shop. 1915.

Two girls at the gate. 1915.

Mrs. Warburg. 1915.

Staithes Harbor. 1915.

Joan in Red Riding Hood cape with basket. 1907.

A rusty buoy. 1908.

On the sands. 1910.

Saltburn Sands. 1915.

Cow on Saltburn sands. 1915.

Children drawing. 1915.

Whitby, the dredger. 1915.

A portrait of John Cimon Warburg by Helen Missinger Murdoch. 1925.

(Photos by SSPL/Getty Images)



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