There's been lots of fallout since our first post on "The Leaf," above. The image was to have been auctioned last week at Sotheby's in New York, but was withdrawn because of the controversy caused by an essay in the Sotheby's catalog. The essay, by Dr. Larry Schaaf, speculated that the image was not made by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839, as commonly thought, but by Thomas Wedgwood nearly 30 years earlier. Today the New York Times has an interesting interview with Schaaf, in which he very firmly says the image was not by Talbot:
"Someone could obviously come along and say that these images are all in fact Talbots, but they would be wrong," says Schaaf.
This is only the beginning. Lots more will come out as further research is done. The veil is lifting on the murky history of photography prior to 1839. Couldn't be happier about that.--David Schonauer