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Stereoscopy: An Introduction to Victorian Stereo Photography

Discover why the stereoscope and stereo photography mesmerised Victorians when they first appeared at 1851’s Great Exhibition.

Course Summary

Why to enroll this course?

Following its presentation to the world at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, the stereoscope – a device that makes images appear 3D – mesmerised Victorians.

Stereoscopes were produced in different price ranges, thousands of stereo images were printed and bought each year, and one company involved in this boom, The London Stereoscopic Company, proclaimed: ‘No home without a stereoscope.’

On this free online course, we will examine the rise of stereo photography and the work of two pioneering photographers – the Scotsman, George Washington Wilson, and the Englishman, Thomas Richard Williams.

To enjoy stereo photography, you usually need a stereoscope or stereo viewer, but you can enjoy this course without one.

It has been developed following the major exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in 2015, Photography: A Victorian Sensation, and many of the images you will explore in this course are drawn from the National Museums Scotland collection.

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