British photographic history

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On Saturday, 14 October around 30 people came together in the small parish church of St Peter and St Paul, Wendling, to remember the photographer Robert Howlett (1831-1858) who died on 2 December 1858, aged 27 years. A year long project which was crowd-funded, but initiated and realised by Rose Teanby culminated in the restoration of Howlett's grave and its re-dedication led by Reverend Julia Hemp. 

The proceedings were attended by Teanby, representatives of the Royal Photographic Society, descendants of Howlett and Thomas Hardwich, Howlett's great friend and collaborator. Along the way Teanby has dispelled misconceptions about Howlett'ds life and work, corrected oft-repeated facts and revised attributions of photographs. She has also rewritten the history of Howlett's most famous photograph showing Brunel in front of the chains of the SS Great Eastern. 

Saturday's ceremony was a fitting culmination of this work and a tribute to an important figure in photography's early history. Some further work is in hand including a catalogue raisonné of Howlett's photographs and there is the possibility of another grave retsoration project of another early, forgotten, photographic figure. 


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