British photographic history

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We visited the exhibition ‘Comedians: From The 1940s To Now’ currently running in Sheffield. The show is presented jointly with the National Portrait Gallery and photographers include Annie Leibovitz, Henri Cartier Bresson, Angus McBean, Patrick Lichfield, Bill Brandt, Cecil Beaton and Trevor Leighton.

There was however an unexpected surprise when looking at the colour portrait of Stephen Fry. This carries the bizarre attribution ‘Stephen Fry, photographer Camille Silvy, format: albumen photograph, carte de visite.’

At first I wondered if this was a partially re-used label that had led to a muddle but then decided it was a very subtle joke. But by whom? By Fry himself or by the curators?

The exhibition is at the Graves Gallery and runs until 20 March 2010. Entry is free and next door is the traveling Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition that runs to 27 March 2010 and is also free.

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Comment by Mark Haworth-Booth on January 28, 2010 at 8:23
As I have argued in my forthcoming book, Camille Silvy (1834-1910): photographer of modern life, Silvy was always ahead of his time.

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