Fringe Box



What the Victorians Saw and Loved – Stereoscopic Photographs at Watts Gallery Artists’ Village

Published on: 21 Jul, 2023
Updated on: 23 Jul, 2023

Step back into the world of the Victorians and discover their fascination with 3D photography – currently the focus of the latest exhibition at Watts Gallery Artists’ Village in Compton.

Take a peek at what the Victorians saw and amazed at – stereoscopic photographs.

Stereoscopy was a 19th-century craze, that, for the first time, enabled pictures to appear in three-dimensional form, and it still captivates today!

Stereoscopic photographs are on display at Watts Gallery Artists’ Village.

The exhibition is titled Victorian Virtual Reality. Images, viewing devices and equipment are from the Brian May Archive of Stereoscopy. Sir Brian May is of course the world famous guitarist in the legendary band Queen.

He has been collecting stereoscopic photographs since he was a boy and today his collection is said to contain more than 100,000 images.

At the exhibition you can get close-up to more than 150 historic stereoscopic photographs that can be viewed in 3D through a range of modern viewers and digital techniques.

Sir Brian May has a vast collection of stereoscopic photographs.

Watts Gallery Artists’ Village says: “The show includes Sir Brian’s first ever stereocard – of two hippos – found in a Weetabix packet, as well as highlights from his extensive collection of Victorian stereoscopic photographs and early viewing devices.

“Through stereoscopic photographs and interactive elements, explore celebrity portraits, snapshots of Victorian street scenes, and ghostly apparitions found in Sir Brian May’s collection. One photograph shows Victorians at home, sharing and viewing their own collections of images.”

Guests at the preview evening of Victorian Virtual Reality. Sir Brian May also attended and gave a fascinating talk about stereoscopy and his collection.

This is the first exhibition at the gallery dedicated to stereoscopy. Stereoscopic photographs and other artwork from Watts Gallery Trust’s own Rob Dickins collection feature among the loaned works.

What the Victorians saw and loved – stereoscopic photographs. See them too at Watts Gallery Artists’ Village’s current exhibition.

Included in admission to the exhibition includes entry to Historic Galleries and Limnerslease.

One of the ways the Victorians viewed stereoscopic photographs.

Click here for the gallery’s website more details, to book and to see a short video on how Stereoscopy works.

There is also lots more at Watts Gallery Artists’ Village this summer…

Reinvented: The Art of Upcycling

Until September 3: Creating beautiful art from unwanted rubbish, this exhibition celebrates work which makes best use of things artists find – including newspaper, driftwood, old cutlery and tins. Free entry, all works for sale.

Animate your Imagination

July 28 and August 25

This summer, take part in an animation workshop at Watts, to bring movement and life to still images using photography. Inspired by playful ways to create with photography, and the new Victorian Virtual Reality exhibition at Watts Gallery, nine- to 13-year-olds can join us for imagine, create and animate.

Sip and Sketch

August 30: Join artist Mags Orson for a relaxing evening of sketching in the sculpture gallery. Working through observation explore and enjoy the incredible sculptural forms created by GF Watts, including monumental gesso pieces, bronzes and casts created to inform his paintings. An opportunity to unwind and take in the atmospheric sculpture gallery after hours, over a glass of wine or sparkling elderflower.

Fun activities for children this summer.

Summer Family Days

August 1, 13 and 22

During the summer-time Watts Family Days, your family can: Capture silhouetted photographs using cyanotype paper and sunshine (fingers crossed!). Learn how to make a camera obscura with simple materials.

Watts Tots

First and Third Friday of each month

Join a multi-sensory early years workshops to explore art and nature through making, storytelling and music.

Seeing double, August 4 and 18

Create colourful mirror prints, using finger painting and stencils. Fold it over to see in double!

The Make Space

First Sunday of each month

Watts Gallery Arists’ Village is at Compton near Guildford.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *