British photographic history

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Exhibition: Stories Seen Through a Glass Plate - Photographs from the Edward Reeves archive

Edward Reeves took up photography c.1855. Today his great-grandson Tom is still running the business in the High Street in Lewes. The Edward Reeves Studio, situated at 159 High Street is believed to be the oldest continuously operated photographic studio in the world.

Today it houses an archive of over 100,000 photographic glass plates, the work of the first three owners. The archive also includes approximately 150,000 images on film and as digital files, the work of the present owner Tom Reeves. Unusually the family has kept business ledgers and the related paperwork. This archive is both a unique record of the daily life of Lewes and the history of commercial photographic practice.

Stories Seen Thorough A Glass Plate exhibits work by the first three generations, displayed as light boxes in 56 windows on the specific locations where they were originally taken, celebrating the continuing vibrancy of this old market town. This exhibition was first shown last November as part of the Brighton Photo Biennial.

Brigitte Lardinois, Senior Research Fellow at London College of Communication is researching this archive. She has curated this exhibition with Matt Haycocks of the University of Ulster. They were assisted by Yaz Norris, photographer.

For more information on the research project and exhibition see

Related exhibitions at Edward Reeves Photography Studio & Gallery 159 High Street, Lewes, BN7 1XU

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