View along Newhaven Beach



Robert Adamson, Scottish, 1821-1848


View along Newhaven Beach




ca. 1844 - 1845


Salted paper print from calotype negative
5 3/4 x 7 7/8 in. (14.6 x 20 cm)

Object Number



Hill, an established artist, and Adamson, a young engineer who had recently set up shop as a photographer in Edinburgh, began their pioneering collaboration in June 1843. In May of that year the citizens of Edinburgh had witnessed a momentous event when a third of the clergy present at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland had walked out in protest of the system by which appointments to churches were made. Soon after this Hill proposed to commemorate the Disruption, as it was called, in a monumental painting. An acquaintance suggested that he should take advantage of the newly invented technique of photography to make likenesses of the more than four hundred personages to be represented in the painting. Once they had photographed the founders of the Free Church of Scotland, Hill and Adamson went on to make portraits of most of the citizens of Edinburgh and their distinguished visitors. They also created what is considered to be the first social documentary series in their pictures of the inhabitants of the fishing village of Newhaven.

In the course of only three years Hill and Adamson were to make about three thousand photographs using the calotype process, the first photographic technique that, unlike the daguerreotype, used a negative, thus allowing multiple copies of an image to be made. Theirs was a synergistic partnership with Hill the artist arranging the poses and lighting of each shot, while Adamson provided the optical and chemical expertise in wielding the camera and developing the prints. Neither man on his own was able to achieve the same inventiveness and control that was evident in their collaborative work. The collaboration ended only with Adamson's premature death in January 1848.

Credit Line

Gift of Sarit Rozycki and Robert Cromwell


The Objective Eye: Photographs from the Rozycki-Cromwell Collection, Michael C. Carlos Museum, August 10, 2005 - January 15, 2006|
Modern and Contemporary Masters: Highlights from the Works on Paper Collection, Michael C. Carlos Museum, January 24 - May 17, 2009
MCCM Newsletter, March - May, 2004.|
Michael C. Carlos Museum: Highlights of the Collections (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2011), 142.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2006.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

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Robert Adamson, Scottish, 1821-1848, “View along Newhaven Beach,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed April 5, 2020,

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