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Master Miller

A work made of salted paper print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of salted paper print.




David Octavius Hill (Scottish, 1802–1870) and
Robert Adamson (Scottish, 1821–1848)

About this artwork

Coming from backgrounds in fine arts and chemistry, respectively, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson began their photographic collaboration in 1843. Hill wanted to produce a large history painting documenting the Disruption movement, which culminated in the establishment of the Free Church of Scotland. To document the more than 450 individuals who appear in the painting, Adamson made portraits of them with the calotype (paper negative) process, a technology that yielded prints rich in masses of form rather than sharp detail or tonal range. The pair made around 2,500 calotypes over the course of their remarkable five-year project, which went far beyond their initial goals before ending with Adamson’s early death. Although Jimmy Miller, the son of Professor James Miller, did not appear in the painting that Hill finally completed in 1866, his father and three other family members are identifiable subjects in the grand composition.

Currently Off View

Photography and Media


David Octavius Hill


Master Miller




Made 1844


Salted paper print


20.4 × 15.4 cm (image/paper); 37.3 × 26.7 cm (mount)

Credit Line

The Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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