Capturing the Brontës was an imaginative, witty and informative exploration of the Brontës and the history of early photography, curated in partnership with the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate.
The exhibition took visitors on an alternative 'Visitorian' tour of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, to uncover some of the stranger facts and fictions surrounding the Brontë story. Charlotte Cory's photographic collages rework Victorian cartes-des-visite (a Victorian craze for photographic calling cards that were once produced in their millions). She combines these long forgotten Victorians with her own portraits of stuffed animals from museums and her own collection, recycling these dispossessed images and giving them a new lease of life. Charlotte Cory boldly created an alternative Brontë narrative for this exhibition, in which Branwell Brontë actually achieves his dream of studying at the Royal Academy, and the mother Maria Branwell's shipwrecked trunk is discovered, full of wonderful things that end up prized, accessioned and properly labelled in a 'museum within a museum'. The work is playful and affectionate and full of completely new and original research.
Charlotte Cory is an artist and writer based in Greenwich, London. She joined the Brontë Society as a Life Member in 1967 at the age of 10. Best known for her 'Visitoriana' - a complete, fantastical, alternative 19th century - Charlotte Cory's artworks have been exhibited at the Royal Academy, are in the Royal Collection, and an exhibition of her Shakesperean Visitorians, Exit Pursued by a Bear, was held at the Globe Theatre in 2012. Further information on Charlotte's work can be found at www.charlottecory.com
A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue 'Capturing the Brontës' is available from the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth: October - December 2013
A guided tour round Charlotte Cory's exhibition, part of the Contemporary Arts Programme funded by the Arts Council. A book of the show, CAPTURING THE BRONTES is available from the Bronte Parsonage shop, 01535 640181.