British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Michael Pritchard's Blog (1,949)

Video: Lai Fong - photographer of China

Lai Fong (c.1839-1890): Photographer of China is the first exhibition devoted to a nineteenth-century Chinese photographer. Unfortunately, the exhibition at Cornell University's Johnson Museum of Art is inaccessible due to current circumstances. To share a view of the exhibition, Stephan Loewentheil, one of the principal supporters of the exhibition,…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 23, 2020 at 11:00 — No Comments

Obituary: Richard Sadler (1927-2020)

Dr Richard Sadler FRPS, one of British photography's important post-war figures, has died aged 92 years after a short illness. Originally from Coventry, Sadler was in his home city during the Coventry Blitz of 1940 and later documented the reconstruction of the city and the iconic Coventry Cathedral, becoming its official photographer. He was also the heavily involved with the city's Belgrade Theatre from 1958 until 1994 and part of his work there has now been digitised. 

He began…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 17, 2020 at 13:30 — No Comments

Visualising spaces, objects (and a daguerreotype)

The John Rylands Library in Manchester has a wonderful collection of historic and contemporary photography. Tony Richards from its imaging team is using COVID-19 lockdown as an opportunity to experiment with very modern imaging techniques to visualise spaces and objects from its collection. One of the objects visualised is a daguerreotype which presents its…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 16, 2020 at 14:30 — No Comments

TV: The World's Most Photographed - Queen Victoria / BBC4, 13 May at 2200

Queen Victoria's accession to the throne in 1837 coincided almost exactly with the invention of photography. She would be the first woman in the world to live both her private and public lives in front of the camera.

At first, photography was a private pleasure, a way of capturing images of herself and her family for their own personal amusement. But…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 11, 2020 at 19:12 — No Comments

Public asked to identify images of Scotland

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has asked the public to help identify over 5,000 archive images which are now available online for the first time. In 2019-20, over 170,000 archive items from the HES archives were digitised, with the images now being added to Canmore – the online catalogue of HES archives. The new online records include digitised copies of…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 8, 2020 at 11:45 — No Comments

Online: British Museum collections available

The British Museum has revamped its website and made 1.9 million images of, and from, its collection - including photographs - available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. Commercial use…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 8, 2020 at 11:00 — 2 Comments

The Great Exhibition virtual tour

For a number of reasons the 1851 Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace hold a particular interest for photographic historians for whom it is familiar through the photographs of T R Williams, Negretti and Zambra, P H Delamotte and others. For the first time, visitors can take a 360 tour around The Crystal Palace, the venue of the formidable 1851 Great…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 8, 2020 at 9:22 — No Comments

Research: The National Archives digital resources go free

In the light of the closure of The National Archives at Kew due to COVID-19 the decision has been taken to provide free access to digital records available on its website for as long as TNA remains closed to visitors. Registered users can now order and download up to 10 items at a time, up to a maximum of 50 items over a rolling 30 day period. The limits are…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 2, 2020 at 10:30 — 3 Comments

Blog: The Mackinnon Collection - Dawn of Light and Liberty

When the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland jointly acquired the MacKinnon Collection of historic Scottish photography, they knew it contained many exceptional…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 2, 2020 at 10:27 — No Comments

Stolen: Historic cameras and photographs, London, 9 April, 2100-2300

The following vintage cameras and photographs were stolen from a house in north-east London on 9 April. If you are offered them or have sight of them please contact: CONTACT:CMS@MET.POLICE.UK

1.Detective camera disguised as a pair of binoculars c.1890.

2.Another detective camera disguised as a pair of binoculars c.1900.

3.A Ticka detective camera disguised as a pocket watch, hands at seven minutes past eleven.



Added by Michael Pritchard on April 29, 2020 at 8:00 — No Comments

Obituary: Sue Davies OBE HonFRPS (14 April 1933-18 April 2020) - UPDATED 2

Sue Davies who has died, after a short illness, aged 87 years, was the founder director of London’s The Photographers’ Gallery, the first public space dedicated solely to photography and photographers in the United Kingdom. During her twenty years as gallery director she established it as the go-to place for photography, particularly in its early years when…


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 20, 2020 at 9:00 — 22 Comments

Online exhibition: The Lost Photographs of Gerty Simon

The Wiener Holocaust Library has made available an online version of its 2019 exhibition of Gerty Simon's life and work Gerty (Gertrud) Simon (1887-1970) was a German-Jewish photographer renowned in the 1920s and 1930s for her portraits of important political and artistic figures in Weimar Berlin and interwar London. In the 1930s, as a refugee from Nazism in…


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 18, 2020 at 10:58 — No Comments

Source magazine makes issue 96 available free

Source magazine has provided free access to the digital edition of Issue 96 - Privacy: Picturing Our Inner Selves until the end of April. It features portfolios from Rachel Glass, Maurice Hobson and Gillian Wearing, fashion and marketplace columns, reviews, and interviews. 

Accessible here: …


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 18, 2020 at 10:47 — No Comments

Conference: PHRC - Photographic Education / online 15/26 June 2020

Leicester's De Montfort University's Photographic History Research Centre annual conference for 2020 titled Camera Education: Photographic Histories of Visual Literacy, Schooling, and the Imagination will take place on 15-16 June 2020. Due to COVID-19 it will be run online and can be booked through the…


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 7, 2020 at 18:17 — No Comments

Auction: Fine Photographica / 29 April 2020

Chiswick Auction's Fine Photographica sale will go ahead online on 29 April. The auctions includes a number of British photographers from Robert Howlett's portrait of I K Brunel (lot 105) to work from George Rodger, Richard Sadler, Fay Godwin, John Swannell, T R Williams (lot 111), Francis Bedford and others. Of particular note is a group of ten…


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 7, 2020 at 18:00 — No Comments

Wartime film footage of Bletchley Park discovered

The only known wartime film footage of a secret site connected to Bletchley Park has been discovered. The 11-minute silent film, believed to be a compilation of footage recorded between 1939-1945, shows members of MI6 Section VIII at Whaddon Hall, Buckinghamshire. During World War Two, this was a most secret site where Ultra intelligence produced by the…


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 5, 2020 at 14:11 — No Comments

Publication: Issue 3 of The Classic available as a download

COVID-19 has meant that the new print issue of The Classic will not be made available at its usual distribution points in selected galleries and institutions as they are currently all closed. The publisher, Michael Diemar, has decided to make  the latest issue available as a pdf from its website.

Issue 3 includes:  

  • Frozen Films -…

Added by Michael Pritchard on April 3, 2020 at 13:49 — No Comments

Leicester's F W Broadhead studio photographs available online

Matthew Broadhead, a descendent of the Victorian Leicester photographer F. W. Broadhead (1846-1925)  has made over 250 photographs from his third great grandfather's studio available online for the first time.

The photographs can be seen here:

Matthew can…


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 3, 2020 at 13:30 — No Comments

James Hyman photography fundraiser for NHS as a response to COVID-19

The James Hyman Gallery has launched a special fundraising sale in support of the NHS. James and Claire Hyman' collection of British photography is one of the UK's most important private collections and Claire works as surgeon within the National Health Service. 

The Gallery has put together a selection of works by some of the major photographers of…


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 3, 2020 at 13:05 — 2 Comments

Early British Photographers sale for a COVID-19 cause

Hans P Kraus Jr, the New York based dealer and galler,  had been looking forward to welcoming Paris Photo to New York, in partnership with AIPAD, for the first time.  In light of the postponed event it is presenting it first E-list, a selection of images by British artists to entice, to inspire or merely to distract. They vary in subject matter and…


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 3, 2020 at 12:30 — 1 Comment

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