British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

February 2011 Blog Posts (58)

V+A seeks weddings photographs

In advance of an exhibition of Wedding Dresses in 2013 London's Victoria and Albert Museum is creating a database of photographs of clothes worn for weddings from all cultures between 1840 and the present. This includes civil partnerships. This database will provide a rich record and help people date their own photographs. The museum is inviting people with images to upload… Continue

Added by Michael Pritchard on February 13, 2011 at 20:30 — No Comments

Book: Primitive Photography: The Calotype in France 1843-1860

For those who didn't quite manage to make it to Paris for this exhibition earlier in the year, the accompanying book is now available through Amazon UK, by using the link on the right.

Richly illustrated, this monograph reference brings together some 180 works from the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the French Society photography, the Musée…


Added by Michael Wong on February 13, 2011 at 17:40 — No Comments

Online Auction: Stereographica

There are always a number of interesting British-related photographic items that pop up on offer at this site, the next online auction being scheduled for 5th March. Check them out here, and see if anything takes your fancy .......


Photo: London Stereoscopic Co., 24 page catalog from…


Added by Michael Wong on February 12, 2011 at 17:00 — No Comments

Ashley Givens presents research

Ashley Givens from the V+A, London, will be presenting a short paper about her research titled Painted and Photographic Portraits of Napoléon III and the Empress Eugénie at the Courtauld's Postgraduate symposium in London on Friday 11 March. Details are here: Entry is free.

Her abstract is…


Added by Michael Pritchard on February 12, 2011 at 8:30 — No Comments

Muybridge kiss for Valentine's Day

The world’s first filmed kiss has been resurrected for Valentine’s Day after laying unrecognised in photography books for more than a century. The images of two unclothed women kissing were created by pioneering Kingston photographer Eadweard Muybridge between 1872 and 1885 using a bank of still cameras firing in sequence.

The eight-frame sequence predates the 1896…


Added by Michael Wong on February 12, 2011 at 7:00 — No Comments

National Archives publish African photograph archive

The National Archives has digitised thousands of unique images of Africa and published them on Flickr this week. The collection spans more than 100 years of African history, from as early as the 1860s, including images of people, places, national and imperial events, conflict and natural disasters.

The images were transferred to The National Archives from the…


Added by Michael Pritchard on February 10, 2011 at 20:59 — No Comments

Braintree District Museum: You press the button ...

Braintree District Museum traces its origins to a Museum room in the Town Hall that opened in 1928 to display the collections of Alfred Hills, a local clerk and historian and the Courtauld family. After a succession of different homes, today's Museum opened in the former Manor Street School on 6th October 1993. Since then the collections expanded from boundaries of Braintree…


Added by Michael Wong on February 10, 2011 at 17:27 — No Comments

Finding Sir John Herschel

In a recent recording of the ever popular BBC series of 'Flog It!' at Henley Town Hall, the stand-out item of the day was a photograph of scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel taken by Julia Margaret Cameron, one of the preeminent photographers of the 19th century.  Researchers are to investigate the history of the photograph, which could fetch thousands when it is…


Added by Michael Wong on February 10, 2011 at 17:00 — 4 Comments

National Gallery Canada: 19th Century British Photographs: A rare pictorial glimpse of a remarkable period in history

As mentioned in an earlier blog, further information on this exhibition is now available.

Photography was born in 1839, making the 19th century the first to be recorded in this medium. Since then, photography has evolved dramatically from the original chemical…


Added by Michael Wong on February 8, 2011 at 19:10 — No Comments

Through a Foreign Glass: The Art and Science of Photography in Late Qing China

Brought to Asia in the early 1840s by Europeans, photography was both a witness to the dramatic changes that took place in China from the second half of the 19th century through the early 20th century and a catalyst to further modernization. This talk will outline how the medium of photography was readily adopted by Chinese export painters, who learned the mystery of the… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on February 8, 2011 at 12:17 — No Comments

The London Blitz 70th anniversary exhibition

People looking to uncover the true spirit of the iconic and currently ubiquitous wartime poster, Keep Calm and Carry On, may want to head to the Royal Air Force Museum to see the real backdrop of this chirpy wartime notice. The Mayor of London’s photographic and image based exhibition, commissioned by Boris Johnson for City Hall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of…


Added by Michael Pritchard on February 8, 2011 at 9:31 — No Comments

Exhibition: Dynasty and the Camera: Portraits from the Ottoman Court

The exhibition consists of a selection from the Ottoman portrait photographs from Ömer M. Koç collection shows the high level of technical and artistic terms of photography by the interest of the Ottoman imperial family. 

This exhibition marks the importance given by the Ottoman sultans, other members of the royal dynasty and statesmen in the 19th century and…


Added by Michael Wong on February 6, 2011 at 19:47 — No Comments

Robert Leggat

Robert Leggat who researched and maintained one of the first useful photographic history resources on the internet died on 20 January 2011. His A History of Photography from its beginnings till the 1920s ( was designed for school and college students and started in 1995. It is still available today and was being maintained by Leggat until shortly before his death. Put many…


Added by Michael Pritchard on February 6, 2011 at 12:30 — 3 Comments

London Photograph Fair - FREE entry offer - see below for details

We are delighted to offer free entry to visitors to the London Photograph Fair on February 20th after 2pm. All we ask is that you email us on for a voucher: this is essential so we can keep track of how many people we might expect. We will have around 40 dealers exhibiting vintage and contemporary images, as well as a wide range of photo books. For visitors arriving earlier in the day, a number of dealers have offered to refund…


Added by James Kerr on February 5, 2011 at 14:05 — No Comments

Gardens of Sand: Commercial Photography in the Middle East 1859-1905

Between 1859 and 1905, a number of photographers, working from the Maghreb to Turkey, collectively amassed a vast documentation of the region's landscape, towns and monuments. "Gardens of Sand" (by Nassar, Almarcegui & Worswick) unites 90 original photographs, mostly hitherto unpublished, by photographers such as James Robertson, Wilhelm Hammerschmidt, G. Lekegian,…


Added by Michael Wong on February 3, 2011 at 15:33 — No Comments

Obituary: Keith Cavanagh, Photography Curator

An impassioned campaigner for photography for over 30 years, untroubled by ego or personal ambition, Keith Cavanagh was a loyal, long term friend and supporter to very many photographers, and particularly young practitioners looking for help in achieving their work's first public airing.

The British Journal of Photography pays tribute to a man who was a tireless…


Added by Michael Wong on February 3, 2011 at 15:32 — 2 Comments

The Royal Photographic Society and The Macallan Unveil Joint Partnership

The Royal Photographic Society and The Macallan have announced a new three year deal to sponsor the world renowned annual Royal Photographic Society Awards Ceremony, as part of The Macallan’s innovative and ground-breaking work within the photography arena.

Founded in 1853, The Royal Photographic Society is the world’s longest established Photography Society. It was…


Added by Michael Wong on February 2, 2011 at 17:05 — No Comments

De Montfort University MA History of Photography

De Montfort University is recruiting students for the 2011/12 intake on its MA History of Photography and Practice course. The programme started in 2009 and his been widely acclaimed for its distinctive approach to the teaching of photographic history and its focus on handling original objects. The course has established close links with various photographic collections such…


Added by Michael Pritchard on February 1, 2011 at 21:27 — No Comments

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