British photographic history

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I am looking for information on any British photography exhibitions, between the early 1940s and the late 1960s.
I would be grateful for any leads.

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It's a very, very long shot(!) but a BPH member, Belinda May, has a web archive containing over 300 photographic exhibition posters. But they mostly date from 1974 onwards. Perhaps you can contact her to see if she has come across any earlier ones that match your criteria. Good luck!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/parc_ual
http://www.photographyresearchcentre.co.uk

Belinda May,
Exhibitions Intern at Photography and the Archive Research Centre
London College of Communication
Elephant And Castle, London
Many thanks Michael - I'll follow your long shot and see where it leads.
My grandfather, Dr S.D.Jouhar FRPS FPSA died in 1963. He was one of the leading amateur photographers in the UK from before the War, until his death. He played an instrumental role in having photography accepted as a Fine Art in this country. He was a founder member, and the first Chairman of the Photographic Fine Art Association (August 1961)

In November 1961, he and his fellow members mounted an exhibition at The Royal Festival Hall entitled "Photography as a Fine Art".

He said, at the time :-

"People must be conditioned to recognizing photography as Fine Art. That is what I am trying to establish. Nowhere, to my knowledge, has there ever been an exhibition showing photography as a Fine Art in this country."

You can read more about the Photographic Fine Art Association, and see some examples of the pictures that my grandfather exhibited at www.sdjouhar.com

Regards
Kelvin Jouhar
Many thanks for this Kelvin. This is very interesting stuff. Do you have any information on what your Grandfather was up to in the late 1940s and the 1950s? Was he involved in the RPS at this time? Do you know whether he had any connection with the Combined Societies in the late 1940s?


Damian Hughes said:
Many thanks for this Kelvin. This is very interesting stuff. Do you have any information on what your Grandfather was up to in the late 1940s and the 1950s? Was he involved in the RPS at this time? Do you know whether he had any connection with the Combined Societies in the late 1940s?

Damian,

My Grandfather became a Member of the Royal Photographic Society before the War in 1938, achieved his Associateship in 1939 and his Fellowship in 1940. More or less continuously from 1944, until his death in 1963, he served on its Council and, as a keen Member of the Pictorial Group, he was its Honorary Secretary between 1944 and 1950 and later it's Chairman

In 1944 he was elected a Member of the London Salon of Photography and was an active, consistent and prolific exhibitor for some eighteen years until his death. At the time of his being invited to join, there were less than 30 members world-wide.

I don't know what the Combined Societies are, sorry, so I can't help you with that. I have a huge archive of his Exhibition prints, negatives and slides that I am gradually working my way through. As I mentioned, you can see some examples of his work at www.sdjouhar.com

Regards
Kelvin
Hi i am following your forum discussion with interest. I have, for the past 18 months, been researching the Combined Societies and have compiled a complete history (Not yet in final draft form). Dr Jouhar was not a supporter of the Combined Societies modern outlook on photography and wrote sevedral letters and articles damning their methods. The battle in the late 40s and early 50s between the establishment (RPS & Salon) and the avant guard (CS) makes some interesting reading. If youy want any further information please feel free to contact me.


Matthew Mawson said:
Hi i am following your forum discussion with interest. I have, for the past 18 months, been researching the Combined Societies and have compiled a complete history (Not yet in final draft form). Dr Jouhar was not a supporter of the Combined Societies modern outlook on photography and wrote sevedral letters and articles damning their methods. The battle in the late 40s and early 50s between the establishment (RPS & Salon) and the avant guard (CS) makes some interesting reading. If youy want any further information please feel free to contact me.

Matthew,

I saw your other post about Mr Wadenoyen - I thought I recognised the name from some of my grandfather's papers. I have a typewritten copy of a speech Dr Jouhar delivered to the Twickenham Photographic Society (and subsequently to the RPS, I believe) in July 1946 entitled "Some Thoughts on Pictorialism".

In the speech, he really rips into Mr Wadenoyen :- "Mr Wadenoyen is so vague, so wandering, so indefinite and non-commital in his remarks......." "He is so contradictory.......that one wonders if he has any convictions at all".
"Such attitude is born of frustration due to rejection of some of his work at some of the important exhibitions....."

I think Dr Jouhar must have submitted the speech for inclusion in the Amateur Photographer magazine, because in the margin it is written in pencil "Too personal for the AP" - a reference to the attack on Wadenoyen, I assume.

I should tell you that I am no expert on any of this, but as I inherited all this material from my father about 10 years ago, I am trying to piece together what I can about my grandfather's life - I have a "biography" that my father wrote about 20 years ago, and I have the photographic material.

If you have some more information I would be very pleased to hear about it, and if you would like more information from me about him, I would be more than happy to oblige.

Regards
Kelvin
Thanks Matthew. I am excited to learn you have been researching Hugo van Wadenoyen and the Combined Societies. I would love to know more. I am researching 1940s and 1950s British photohistory for an MA dissertation and have only recently turned up references to these figures. I was particularly interested to not that Helmut Gernsheim threw his support behing van Wadenoyen and the CS. Can we talk some more about this, then I can explain in more detail what I am trying to research?
Hi Kelvin,

Yours and Matthew's responses both suggest interesting perspectives on the period. At the risk of re-creating the opposing camps of this post-war debate it would be splendid to take this discussion further. I may well fire some further questions your way in due course. I hope that's ok.
Kelvin, I think there must have been a clash of personalities between your grandfather and Hugo. Very interesting to hear of the Twickenham article. I have two articles from the Photographic Journal, firstly from 1945 a transcript of a discussion headed by Hugo entitled: What is Pictorialism. Dr Jouhar joins the discussion with a lengthy arguement starting: "Mr Wadenoyen has made a very interesting and cmprehensive survey in such a short time, but he appears to be quite vague about the whole thins. I should like to make a clear distinction between photographic record and pictorial photography..."

The second article is from later in 1945 and called "Whither Picotrialism" another discussion chaired by Hugo. Dr Jouhar "...regretetted that Mr Wadenoyen had been so nebulous..."

I may have more information on this subject, i will check through my files. In the meantime i would be grateful for a copy of the "pictorialism" talk, it must relate to a previous discussion with Hugo - perhaps the ones mentioned abovew.

Matthew


Damian Hughes said:
Hi Kelvin,

Yours and Matthew's responses both suggest interesting perspectives on the period. At the risk of re-creating the opposing camps of this post-war debate it would be splendid to take this discussion further. I may well fire some further questions your way in due course. I hope that's ok.

I will be more than happy to assist if I can - My father always maintained that his father's (Dr Jouhar's) place in British photohistory had been overlooked. Dr Jouhar died not very long after the first exhibition dedicated to "Photography as a Fine Art". If you are writing about 1940's and 1950's history, I would like to think that Dr Jouhar's activities would be included.

If you have the opportunity to read www.sdjouhar.com/section270485.html , you will see what I have written about that, based on the biography that I have of Dr Jouhar. I have a lot of the prints (and the negatives) that were exhibited there.

Regards
Kelvin
You are clearly way ahead of me on all this Matthew - my to do list currently includes trawling through the Photographic Jornal, BJP etc. to see what i can pick up. Can you give more precise dates for these articles? Or do you have copies you could let me have?
And who else entered into this debate apart from van Wadenoyen and Dr. Jouhar?

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