About this artwork

Scoresby was a leading scientist in his day. He produced outstanding work relating to oceanography and magnetism. He made his first voyage to the Arctic with his father, an Arctic whaler, when he was ten years old. From 1803-23 he apprenticed his father and from 1806 studied chemistry and natural philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. His lecturers encouraged him to carry out experiments during his time on board his father’s boat. His wife’s death in 1822 had a profound effect on him and he decided to enter the church. However, he continued with his scientific studies, publishing over 100 works. In 1831 he was a founding member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. It is believed that this photograph was taken during the group’s meeting in York in 1844.

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Robert Adamson

David Octavius Hill

Robert Adamson

David Octavius Hill

A painter and a lithographer by training, David Octavius Hill is best remembered for the beauty of the calotypes he and Robert Adamson produced together. Hill was a sociable and kind-hearted man who did much to support the arts in Scotland and between 1830 and 1836 he was the unpaid Secretary of the newly established Royal Scottish Academy. After Adamson's death, Hill's attempt to start a new partnership with the photographer Alexander MacGlashan around 1860 failed. Hill is to this day revered as one of the first in the trade who transformed photography into an art form.