British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

November 2012 Blog Posts (31)

New History and Theory of Photography Research Centre at Birkbeck

A new History and Theory of Photography Research Centre has recently been approved at Birkbeck, University of London. Based in the Department of History of Art and Screen Media, School of Arts, the Centre is led by Professor Lynda Nead and Dr Patrizia Di Bello, supported by a steering committee.

The Centre aims to facilitate, exchange and showcase existing and new…


Added by Patrizia Di Bello on November 30, 2012 at 13:30 — No Comments

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…


Added by Michael Wong on November 29, 2012 at 8:41 — No Comments

Auction: Rare images of Africa, China, Java and India by 19th century photogaphy pioneers

This Bonhams auction in London on 4th Dec includes an exceptionally rare set of two volumes of photographic albums of Java in the Dutch East Indies by the pioneering Victorian photographers, Walter Woodbury and James Page. Containing some 60 topographical views and portraits, mostly around Batavia, they are estimated to sell for between £10,000-15,000.

Another lot on…


Added by Michael Wong on November 25, 2012 at 18:12 — No Comments

World record £603,837 for a Leica Luxus I camera

This item, lot 2104, an Exceptional Leica Luxus I, circa 1930, No.40848 with a 50mm f3.5 Elmar lens, and a faux lizard skin body covering had been estimated to sell for HK$1,200,000-1,800,000. In the end it was knocked down for almost seven times that amount on Friday.

Jon Baddeley, Head of Collectables at Bonhams, said after the sale: "This was the first Leica sale…


Added by Michael Wong on November 25, 2012 at 17:30 — No Comments

UK exports £8m worth of historic photographs

Over the period 1 May 2011-30 April 2012 1378 photographs valued at £8,671,367 were licensed for export after reference to expert advisers. These are photographs that might have been sold at auction, through a dealer or privately and which would require an export licence under the Waverley criteria.

For an Open General Export Licence the threshold for 'A…


Added by Michael Pritchard on November 25, 2012 at 14:30 — No Comments

Job: Conservator of Photographs, Bradford

The National Media Museum is seeking a skilled and enthusiastic Conservator of Photographs to provide high quality interventive conservation. The post holder will be based at the National Media Museum in Bradford and will support our busy exhibition programme.

Your recognised conservation…


Added by Michael Pritchard on November 25, 2012 at 5:02 — No Comments

GIFs used for stereoscope viewing

The upsurge in popularity of  the Graphics Interchange Format or GIF has been applied creatively for viewing stereoscopic pairs of images. I came across this site which maybe of interest.

Added by Janine P Freeston on November 24, 2012 at 12:30 — 2 Comments

Event: Archive Connections

Anne McNeill, Director, Impressions Gallery and Brian Liddy, Curator of Collections Access, National Media Museum will discuss the gallery's role in British photography and its connections with the museum's photographic archive. The Gallery has its own extensive - and important - photography archive which dates back to its founding in 1972.

The event will take place…


Added by Michael Pritchard on November 24, 2012 at 10:26 — No Comments

BM Archives are online! - after 5 years of development and hard work we launched our new website this week which incorporates not only our vast collection of historical images that have been online for 10 years but also our 6775 strong map collection and our archives catalogue.

We decided to keep the visual and intuitiv setting of our historical images website,, which relaunched our historical images…


Added by Anke Schürer-Ries on November 22, 2012 at 8:03 — 1 Comment

3 Phd Scholarships at the University of St Andrews

The School of Art History at the University of St Andrews is offering three PhD scholarships of £15,000 in the areas of Art History, History of Photography and Museum & Gallery Studies to begin in September 2013 (3 years, full time). The Scholarships will cover the cost of fees (at the UK/EU home rate) and provide a tax-free bursary to successful candidates.



Added by Luke Gartlan on November 20, 2012 at 12:30 — 1 Comment

Nano-Scientists Attempt to Save Disintegrating Artworks- Daguerreotypes

As priceless images from the earliest days of photography were dissolving in front of museumgoers' eyes, an unlikely team set out to save them.  In the theaterlike darkness of the international Center of Photography in New York City, black-and-white ghosts of New England's mid-19th-century Boston Brahmins stared out from behind the glass-and-rosewood frames. These were the works of Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes, the Rembrandts of daguerreotypy—the first practical…


Added by Mark Jacobs on November 19, 2012 at 18:30 — 1 Comment

Auction Record: Thomson's Foochow and the River Min, 1873

A rare album of photographs of China by John Thomson titled 'Foochow and the River Min' (1873) sold for an auction world-record of £349,250 (including buyer's premium) at Sotheby's on 15 November 2012. One of an edition of only 46, this album was offered for sale by descendants of the original tea-merchant…


Added by Richard Fattorini on November 19, 2012 at 10:30 — No Comments

Photogravures on 'Echoes from the Vault' blog

This week's blog post from the Special Collections department of the University of St Andrews has some beautiful photogravures from Hill & Adamson and Julia Margaret Cameron, amongst others:…


Added by Sheila Masson on November 19, 2012 at 9:00 — No Comments

Obituary: Dr John Wall

The Reverend Dr John Wall MA FRPS died on 5 October 2012 aged 84 years. His funeral was held in Kirkbymoorside on 16 October.  John Wall compiled the pioneering Directory of British Photographic Collections which was published by The Royal Photographic Society’s National Photographic Record and Heinemann in 1977.

John Wall was born in Middlesborough in…


Added by Michael Pritchard on November 18, 2012 at 12:30 — No Comments

Auction: George Harrison's camera

Bonhams is to sell Beatle George Harrison's Pentax S1a camera in an auction on 12 December 2012 in London. The camera has come from the Harrison family collection. Click…


Added by Michael Pritchard on November 15, 2012 at 20:30 — No Comments

BBC donates 1000 objects to National Media Museum

The BBC has today announced that it is gifting its collection of almost 1,000 historical objects to the National Media Museum as part of its celebrations to mark the 90th anniversary of the BBC.

This unique collection tells the story of British broadcasting, and specifically the BBC, from its earliest pioneering days in the 1920s right up to the present moment. The…


Added by Michael Pritchard on November 13, 2012 at 5:25 — No Comments

Chess Players

I thought I would share an image (carbon print on porcelain plaque) of these lady chess players in my collection. The plaque measures 13x17 cm approximately. The composition reminded me of similar images by Lewis Carroll.

Any information about authorship would be welcomed.



Added by Meir Berk on November 12, 2012 at 19:00 — No Comments

Talk: Vision and Accident, collecting and curating photography at the V&A

Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria & Albert Museum, will be at the Blau Gallery, London, on 22 November to talk about the history of how the museum’s collection was formed and how that set the pattern for current collecting. He will discuss the ‘collecting plan’ and recent collecting initiatives, as well as what catches his eye personally, what…


Added by Michael Pritchard on November 12, 2012 at 6:00 — No Comments

Event: Sight Specific: Photography and the Long Look

For Michael Collins, one of the wonders of photography is that a photograph can record and show far more than could be observed at the time and occasion of the exposure.  This is what he regards as the "long look" of photography.  Moreover, he subscribes to the understanding that, subtly or otherwise, it will reveal the nature of the engagement between the photographer and…


Added by Michael Pritchard on November 11, 2012 at 18:50 — No Comments

Call for Papers: The Reflexive Photographer

International submissions are invited to be included in a  forthcoming book, to be published by MuseumsEtc in 2013. The book will bring together the varied ways in which reflexivity manifests itself within photography and the photograph. In this instance we are taking a broad approach to the term (as evidenced in the suggestions below), where “reflexivity” is used to…


Added by Michael Pritchard on November 11, 2012 at 18:30 — No Comments

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