Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
The College of Optometrists has updated its museum website to provide a legacy page for its temporary exhibition on Victorian cartes-de-visite and cabinet cards of people wearing spectacles or showing signs of visual impairment.
We Called to See You featuring loan items from the Ron Cosens Collection alongside the College's own photographic collection, ran for two years until 16 September 2019. In common with all past exhibitions at the College, an edited version of the exhibition labelling has now replaced the online publicity page for the exhibition.
Inspired by Ron, the College Museum has also renewed its interest in collecting items in this particular field and would be pleased to receive offers to donate relevant material. Cards showing spectacles, monocles, pince-nez, or the eyes of blind people or those with strabismus or ocular injuries and disfigurement would all be suitable for this, as would cards on which the backs give details of photographers who were also opticians.
The image, a detail from a carte-de-visite in the Ron Cosens Collection, shows the blind Member of Parliament Henry Fawcett, who lost his sight in a shooting accident but went on to invent the postal order. The College Museum also includes many other images on this subject, found in paintings, drawings, engravings and lithographs, and on coins, medals or postage stamps. It also has a camera collection, with a particular strength in products by J. Lizars, Opticians of Glasgow.
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