Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
Hello, I have been researching Hugo van Wadenoyen for the past several years. He was the brains behind the CS and i have recently been investigating this association. I have masses of information on the CS and on Post War British and European photography. If you can let me know what it is you are interested in i should be able to help. Matthew Mawson
This is a very interesting and absorbing debate.
Damian, you say that Dr. Jouhar is dismissive of what he calls “mere ‘Record'” (as opposed to the pictorial photograph) or “their snapshot and record stuff.” I disagree with your interpretation of what Jouhar wrote - and this is a very important point, I think - Jouhar is very clear in his view that "One type of Photography (Record) is no more superior or inferior than the other (Pictorial)" - His point is that Wadenoyen is sending (what Jouhar considers to be) "Record snapshots" to exhibitions of Pictorial Photography ("like keep sending canaries to a cat show"),and then becoming frustrated "due to rejection of some of his work at some of the important exhibitions".
You make reference to Wadenoyen's "emphasis on the qualities and properties of the medium itself, rather than on the production of pictures which meet some other standard" - This view of Wadenoyen's seems to be at odds with his own Combined Societies Exhibition entry forms (to which Jouhar refers) which tabulate "How your Prints will be Judged"...
Jouhar's view seems to be that the "prime movers" in the Combined Societies (Wadenoyen, Glas, Hoppe', Cash, White, Vining & Straker) are all professionals - they make a living from photography. Jouhar says, "They and the illustrated press perform a very useful function in everyday life", but it seems that they are not producing pictures that are being accepted into the pictorial section of the RPS and the Salon. Maybe that's why they went off and formed their own club - so that they could make their own rules ?
Having said that, Matthew - you said that Wadenoyen "had exhibited extensively in the Royal and the Salon, won countless awards, and was at the height of his career". Do you have some examples of those pictures, or at least the dates when they were exhibited - because it could be that they were exhibited at an earlier time, under different selection criteria, and by the mid-1940's, perhaps the RPS and the Salon were accepting a different type of work ? Dr Jouhar seems to be implying that Wadenoyen's work is NOT being accepted at the time of his speech in 1946 ?
Having just written that, it strikes me that Dr Jouhar was, in fact, the Honorary Secretary of the RPS Pictorial Group between 1944 and 1950 and later the Chairman, and he was elected a member of The London Salon, in 1944 - so perhaps that did not help Mr Wadenoyen's chances !!