British photographic history

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Exhibition: Cairo to Constantinople: Early Photographs of the Middle East

In 1862, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) was sent on a four-month educational tour of the Middle East, accompanied by the British photographer Francis Bedford (1815-94). This exhibition documents his journey through the work of Bedford, the first photographer to travel on a royal tour. It explores the cultural and political significance Victorian Britain attached to the region, which was then as complex and contested as it remains today. 

The tour took the Prince to Egypt, Palestine and the Holy Land, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece. He met rulers, politicians and other notable figures, and travelled in a manner unassociated with royalty – by horse and camping out in tents. On the royal party’s return to England, Francis Bedford’s work was displayed in what was described as ‘the most important photographic exhibition that has hitherto been placed before the public’. 

On view at The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse from Friday, 08 March 2013 to Sunday, 21 July 2013


This exhibition will be coming to The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace from 31 October 2014 - 22 February 2015.

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Comment by Steven Evans on March 12, 2013 at 10:19
A must see exhibition and a terrific book! Never before seen images and lots of new knowledge. Congratulations to Sophie Gordon.

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