British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

February 2012 Blog Posts (47)

South India stereocards by Nicholas & Co., Madras.

Christopher Penn and I are looking for examples of these stereocards for reference and possible inclusion as one or more figures in his forthcoming book on A.T.W. Penn and Nicholas & Co. to be published later this year by Quaritch. We have a copy of a list that was advertised but no visuals. If anyone knows of any examples that we could see please get in touch.



Added by Lindsey S. Stewart on February 15, 2012 at 12:52 — No Comments

Denbighshire Archives: 19th Century prisoners photo books

Almost £30,000 in grants have been awarded to Denbighshire Archives in a number of restoration projects, one of which includes rare 19th century photo books of habitual criminals (taken between the 1860-90s) used by the Denbighshire Constabulary to keep check on repeat offenders.

The books were formerly owned by Denbighshire Constabulary, created in…


Added by Michael Wong on February 15, 2012 at 9:34 — No Comments

Auction: 19th century East Anglia - Herbert T Cave

TW Gaze Auction Rooms, on Roydon Road in Diss will be auctioning off this Friday (17/2/12) an impressive collection of about 1,000 photographs capturing 19th century every day life in East Anglia. Taken by renowned mid-Norfolk photographer Herbert T Cave, who spent time living in Dereham and Swaffham, it includes images in various themes, including agriculture,…


Added by Michael Wong on February 15, 2012 at 9:18 — No Comments

Gernsheim Collection collects another gong!

Having won the Fred Whitehead Award for Best Book Design as mentioned in a previous posting herethe book, 'The Gernsheim Collection' which includes…


Added by Michael Wong on February 15, 2012 at 9:04 — No Comments

An old technique to keep children still while in front of the camera?

This is my first post...You need to zoom in on the faces of these children and you will see that each and everyone has a loop of thread, or whatever, gripped between their lips.  Nobody I have asked so far has ever seen this before. 

Was it a common event in 1900, when this picture was taken in Yorkshire, to keep the little dears still?…


Added by Ian Jarvis Whitfield on February 15, 2012 at 9:00 — 4 Comments

Courtauld History of Photography seminars

The Courtauld History of Photography Research seminars start on 22 February:

Wednesday February 22, 2012 at 5.30 pm, Research Forum South Room

Speaker: Jan Banning (Photographer)

Title: Bureaucratics and Other Unorderly Subjects

Wednesday 18 April 2012 at 5.30 pm, Research Forum South Room

Speaker: Dr…


Added by Michael Pritchard on February 15, 2012 at 6:03 — No Comments

Exhibition: Silver, Salt, and Sunlight Early Photography in Britain and France

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is showing Silver, Salt, and Sunlight: Early Photography in Britain and France from February 7, 2012-August 5, 2012. It has been curated by Anne E. Havinga.

The invention of photography in 1839 was a pivotal achievement that changed the course of cultural history. The early years of the medium were rich in…


Added by Michael Pritchard on February 15, 2012 at 5:56 — No Comments

Spotlight Photos GB

I'm wondering if anyone might be able to throw a bit more (spot) light onto this company? Taking 'walking pictures' across the UK between around 1932 until 1937 I would love to know more about how the business operated, or whether it was an early franchise system. All the Spotlight walking photos I have seen have three consecutive frames so were clearly taken using an adapted cine camera. I'll add a sample here but you can read more on my site at…


Added by Simon Robinson on February 14, 2012 at 19:39 — 3 Comments

Talk: Exhibitions, Photography and Victorian Scotland

In 1853 an unprecedented exhibition of photography toured Britain. It came to Scotland and was celebrated as the product of a “union” with London. In the press, photography itself was positioned as an art historical descendent of alchemy, a perfect blend of art and science, mysticism and religion. Readers were asked to compare this new medium to other technological inventions…


Added by Michael Wong on February 14, 2012 at 19:00 — No Comments

Werge's 'Evolution of Photography'

Colleagues may be interested to know that John Werge's 'The Evolution of Photography' (1890) has just been issued as an eBook by the estimable Project Gutenberg, in a variety of formats:



Added by Mike Ware on February 14, 2012 at 10:48 — No Comments

Does anyone recognise this school?

The location of the school in this image of young women practising tennis and lacrosse has eluded me for years. The other images in the album were predominantly Scottish, so I would love to think it was a Scottish school, but have no leads whatsoever at the moment. If anyone can suggest where it might be, I'd be delighted. Thanks. John Hannavy…


Added by John Hannavy on February 13, 2012 at 18:00 — No Comments

9-week FREE Cultural Curators Course in London!

I think is this more on the 'arty' side of things, but I'm sure the skills are transferable to running a photo gallery. And it's FREE!

Mapalim is offering you a chance to learn how to run an art gallery with their free course in curating - details …


Added by Michael Wong on February 12, 2012 at 16:34 — No Comments

" ..... was among the most powerful in the history of photography"

That's what The Arts Council of Great Britain once described the portrait work of William Johnson Jennis Bolding (1815-1899). Much of his photography dates from the mid to late 1850s when the medium was still in its infancy and some of those his camera immortalised were ordinary Norfolk people born as far back as the 1770s.

But his name is…


Added by Michael Wong on February 12, 2012 at 16:09 — No Comments

William Foster Brigham

Following the small display of Walking Pictures I put on at Sewerby Hall in 2011, they are preparing an exhibition on William Foster Brigham for 2012. He was the owner of Snaps in Bridlington who were the busiest Walking Picture business in the town. However he also ran a more upmarket studio and was highly regarded as a portrait photographer. I assume the exhibition will concentrate on this aspect of his work.

Added by Simon Robinson on February 10, 2012 at 19:25 — 8 Comments

Interview: Rewriting the History of Photography

An Australian national radio show recently interviewed John Wood (Aston University, Birmingham) and Sally Hoban (Art Historian, UK) on the early history of photography. This involved using poisonous cyanide leaving traces around fern leaves, as well as…


Added by Michael Wong on February 10, 2012 at 9:04 — No Comments

Go EAST, young man!

Not as far as China, but the new Stratford City will do!

An exceptional collection of imagery capturing the spirit of East London, collated from the archival collections of Getty Images, will be exhibited at the Getty Images Gallery at Westfield Stratford City.

Key works on display, which are also available for purchase, include images…


Added by Michael Wong on February 9, 2012 at 23:38 — No Comments

Conference: Szathmari, Pioneer Photographer and his Illustrious Contemporaries

On the occasion of Szathmari’s birth bicentennial (1812-2012), the “G. Oprescu” Institute of Art History takes great pleasure in inviting you to the Szathmari, Pioneer Photographer and his Illustrious Contemporaries conference to be held on 14-16 May, 2012, at the Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania.

Conference Objective and Goals

The three-day…


Added by Michael Pritchard on February 8, 2012 at 20:50 — No Comments

Book: 500 Cameras: 170 Years of Photographic Innovation

To follow-up on their hugely successful coffee-table book, Camera: The History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital, George Eastman House is showcasing its own collection of camera technology in a new book that was launched towards the end of last year. It…


Added by Michael Wong on February 8, 2012 at 10:40 — No Comments

Graphics Atlas (Image Permanence Institute)

Graphics Atlas is a new online resounce that brings sophisticated print identification and characteristic exploration tools to archivists, curators, historians, collectors, conservators, educators and the general pubic.

Added by Marcel Safier on February 8, 2012 at 0:06 — No Comments

Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellowship

The Museum of Modern Art is currently accepting applications for its Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellowship.  This is a full-time, three year grant funded position.  The Museum began to collect photographs in 1930 and established the department in 1940; its holdings of more than 25,000 works dating from approximately 1840 to the present constitute one of the most…


Added by Michael Wong on February 7, 2012 at 10:22 — No Comments

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