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Document number: 8922
Date: 31 Dec 1864
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: COGHILL John Joscelyn
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 8th February 2013

[engraved view of the Exhibition palace]

the Dublin international exhibition of arts and manfactures, for 1865

Exhibition Palace, Dublin, 31st December 1864

glen Barrahane CastleTownsend Co Cork

Dear Sir,

I forwarded to you a packet by to days post containing [illegible deletion] circulars relative to the above International Exhibition & especially having reference to the Photographic Department, but I feel that you, who all British Photographers acknowledge as the father of their art, will forgive this personal application from one whose object is not only to afford the public an opprotunity [sic] of judging the present position of photography in an international point of view but also to proving to them that Photography is no mere mechanical process, but is capable in a large degree of being made subject to artistic treatment. You are no doubt well aware how sore the photographic body were at the Classification of their Art at the Exhibition of 1862. I do not mention it for the purpose of discussing the subject, but merely to state that the Executive Committee of the Exhibition of 1865 being most anxious to show their appreciation of the Art have classed it in “Section F Fine Arts” and to mark this more strongly have excluded all Photographic Apparatus from the Photographic Gallery consigning them more correctly to the Philosophical Instrument Group – The only difference they have made between photography & the other Fine arts is a concession to the former. By the 31st General Rule it was ordered that no medals or certificates of merit should be given in the Fine Art Section, but when it was represented that photographers had hitherto always been in the habit of receiving such rewards they made an exception in favor of that branch of Fine Arts – I trust Sir, that in what I have said I have shown that the Exhibition of 1865 is worthy of energetic Action on the part of Photographers and that its promoters have some claim to look for support from those who (like yourself) may be considered the persons by whose talents the art is what it is.

I remain dear Sir, yours very faithfully,
J: J: Coghill:

Hon. Director. Photoc Depart
D. I. Exhibition 1865

To Fox Talbot Esqr