British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history ranging from exhibitions and museum news, publications, and jobs

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Welcome...

Welcome to the British photographic history blog which was launched at the start of 2009. There are now over 3500 members, in addition to regular readers. These range from museum and gallery curators, photographic academics, students, collectors, dealers and representatives from the photographic press from around the world. The blog provides a forum for news of events and happenings within the British photographic history community. This can include lectures or meetings, exhibition news, jobs, reviews and general news affecting collections of photographic material or individuals within the field. While the focus is on Britain it may, on occasion, include material that is of wider interest from Europe, the United States, Africa and Asia.

A summary of the previous week's posts is usually emailed to signed up readers each Monday. 

Dr Michael Pritchard

PS. Thanks to George Eastman House (now George Eastman Museum) and History Today magazine blogs for recommending British Photographic History as one of their own favourite blogs. The Daily Telegraph made BPH one of its photography websites of the week

Blog Posts

Online exhibition: William Van Sommer - Colour in the Garden

William Van Sommer (1859–1941) was a little-known amateur photographer who left behind a unique collection of images of his local Surrey landscape and favourite gardens in colour.

He took his pictures in an era when gardens were known for their waves of colour – for the contrasting shades of their rock gardens and the vibrant hues of…

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Posted by Michael Pritchard on March 6, 2021 at 12:30 — 1 Comment

Workshops: Alternative processes / summer 2021

The University of West of England's Centre for Fine Print Research in Bristol is running a series of photographic process workshops aimed at, amongst others, artists, designers, craftspeople, communicators, photographers, teachers and managers. CPD courses offer the opportunity for professional updating, learning new skills and techniques,…

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Posted by Michael Pritchard on March 6, 2021 at 12:00

Identification: photographs c.late 1850s / early 1860s

An auction house has asked for identification of a photograph which will be offered at auction on 13 April 2021. There are two photographs in the lot. The photograph which has an unidentified photographer is a portrait of Julia Prinsep Stephen, née Jackson.

The other print shows Mary Louisa Fisher and Julia Prinsep Stephen (both née Jackson), and is…

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Posted by Michael Pritchard on March 6, 2021 at 11:59

Blog: Which photographers made the Conway Library?

This blog, published in 2020 looks at - and identifies - many of the photographers represented in this important art library. Much loved and perused by staff, students, and the general public in the know, the Conway Library is a collection of 9764 red boxes containing brown manila folders. The photographs glued on the brown manila mounts are black and…

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Posted by Michael Pritchard on March 6, 2021 at 11:19

Exhibition: The Business of Photography / until August 2021

The inaugural exhibition in the Chau Chak Wing Museum’s photography gallery examines the first photographic studios in New South Wales, Australia and the characters who ran them. The way we visualise much of the 19th century is framed by the work of commercial photographic studios. The new technology of photography, invented in 1839, led to the rise of these…

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Posted by Michael Pritchard on March 6, 2021 at 10:00

Symposium: Rediscovering our sculpture / 11 and 12 March 2021

Art UK is holding a conference as the culmination of nearly four years' work to digitise thousands of sculptures across the UK, held in collections and seen in public spaces.

There will be talks from Art UK…

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Posted by Michael Pritchard on March 6, 2021 at 9:42

Why does The Dig exclude women photographers?

Prospect magazine has a feature by Emma Hartley which poses the question why were women photographers overlooked in the recent Netflix film The Dig. The photography of Mercie Lack and Barbara Wagstaff who documented the excavation at Sutton Hoo was removed and their roles replaced by a male photographer.  Separately  the role of Wagstaff has…

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Posted by Michael Pritchard on March 6, 2021 at 9:31 — 1 Comment

Auction: Reports of the Juries at auction / 31 March 2021

Bonhams auction of Fine Books and Manuscripts on 31 March 2021 includes a copy of Reports of the Juries (1851-52) which is illustrated with 154 calotypes. The set of four volumes in an edition of approximately 130.   It is estimated at £15,000-20,000. 

See more here:…

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Posted by Michael Pritchard on March 2, 2021 at 19:42

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