British photographic history

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Michael Wong's Blog – April 2011 Archive (22)

Symposium: China through the Lenses of the Western Photographers

John Thomson, a Scot who was born two years before the invention of the daguerreotype and the birth of photography, is considered a pioneer of photojournalism and one of the most influential photographers of his generation.

At that time, foreign travel was much more arduous and rare than it is today, and photography was…


Added by Michael Wong on April 30, 2011 at 14:54 — No Comments

Early Photography 1839-1860

Some of you BPH members may have already come across this site, but nevertheless, a useful resource for those who haven't.

This national 'on line' catalogue contains art-historical information on the earliest photographs owned by the Rijksmuseum (Rijksprentenkabinet) in Amsterdam, the Print Room of the University of Leiden and 25 other museums, archives and libraries…


Added by Michael Wong on April 30, 2011 at 14:17 — No Comments

Book: The First Western Photographer in Mecca, 1884-1885

As mentioned in an earlier BPH blog, The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has just published a new book containing never-before seen photographs of Mecca taken by the Dutch scientist Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje in the late 1800s.

The Islamic scholar Hurgronje was the first…


Added by Michael Wong on April 27, 2011 at 19:41 — No Comments

On Exhibit: One of Britain's most influential modern photographers

Bill Brandt portrayed the lives of all levels of British society in both staged and documentary photographs from the 1930s and 1940s. Now four of his works, including Soho Bedroom (1936), depicting a couple locked in a passionate embrace which was published in his influential book A Night in London (1938) can be viewed in a new exhibition at the Met,…


Added by Michael Wong on April 26, 2011 at 19:30 — No Comments

The Mariannhill Monastery and Ethnographic Photography

Did you know that the Mariannhill Monastery, near Pinetown (South Africa) was a fully fledged photographic studio (complete with painted backdrops for people to pose) from the 1880s to the 1930s? In the late 1890s this studio, then run by Brother Aegidius, produced an album of ethnographic photographs depicting the local Zulu people that found its way into the collections of…


Added by Michael Wong on April 26, 2011 at 19:22 — No Comments

Book: An Edwardian Summer

Sydney lawyer and identity Arthur Wigram Allen, a tirelessly enthusiastic photographer, was fascinated by the social and technological changes occurring during his lifetime. His talent for amateur photography produced extraordinary pictures that offer a fresh insight into the Edwardian years in Sydney.

The Edwardian era was sandwiched between the great achievements of…


Added by Michael Wong on April 26, 2011 at 18:47 — No Comments

Job: Curator of Photography

Bearer of better news this time round!

The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) seeks a curator of photography. This person will oversee and manage the museum's extensive collection, and establish priorities for collections research and development, exhibition programming and interpretation. Additionally, the candidate will be expected to participate in scholarly and…


Added by Michael Wong on April 25, 2011 at 20:58 — No Comments

Auction: 19th century Photographs

If your budget can't quite stretch to the Report of the Juries (1851), fear not as there is a selection of interesting 19th century photographs up for grabs at a forthcoming auction to be held at Bloomsbury Auctioneers on Wednesday 18th May 2011.

This includes one of the earliest instantaneous news photographs -  an 1855 stereoscopic…


Added by Michael Wong on April 25, 2011 at 20:57 — No Comments

Video: Behind the scenes .....

Not a new book as such, as it was published in the tail end of 2009, but Todd Gustavson's "Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digitaltheless, a useful resource and one for a photo historian's library.

This cornerstone volume, created in collaboration with the world-famous George Eastman House,…


Added by Michael Wong on April 20, 2011 at 21:30 — No Comments

London museum hit by deep cuts

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Museum of London has recently announced that it has made 11 roles redundant, including three senior curator posts of pre-history, Roman history and photography. Two collections care experts and six front-of-house “hosts” have also taken voluntary redundancy.  

Another senior curator post (of social and working history),…


Added by Michael Wong on April 20, 2011 at 19:30 — No Comments

The 19th century photo album of Mrs Finn

The daughter of an Irish missionary and wife of James Finn (the British consul at the twilight of Ottoman rule in the second half of the 19th century), Elizabeth Finn, was considered a pioneer in bringing photography to the region when she arrived in Jerusalem in 1846.

In 1850, a British missionary known only as Bridges arrived at the Finn home to recover from the…


Added by Michael Wong on April 18, 2011 at 16:22 — No Comments

Another first for the Scots .....

Did you know that Smithsonian's first photographer and curator of photography was a Scotsman?

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1843, Thomas William Smillie immigrated to the United States with his family when he five years old. After studying chemistry and medicine at Georgetown University, he took a job as a photographer at the Smithsonian Institution, where he stayed…


Added by Michael Wong on April 14, 2011 at 21:40 — No Comments

World's first female photographer? In Edinburgh?

Anna Atkins? Constance Talbot?

Well, according to Roddy Simpson, a former secretary of the Scottish Society for the History of Photography and currently a photographic researcher at Glasgow University, he thinks the accolade should be bestowed upon Jessie Mann, who lived in Edinburgh in the 1840s.

Miss Mann, from Perthshire, was an assistant to Edinburgh-based photographic pioneers David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, may have been the first female to use photographic…


Added by Michael Wong on April 13, 2011 at 9:00 — 4 Comments

Turkish DeLIGHT

A new exhibition which explores the birth of Turkish photography has been curated by Bursa-born Engin Özendes. Entitled “Kez Gı Sirem İstanbul/Seni Seviyorum İstanbul” (“I love you İstanbul”), the exhibit will display over 100 images and documents showing how İstanbul has changed through the eyes of Armenian photographers, based on three different periods over the past 150…


Added by Michael Wong on April 9, 2011 at 6:05 — No Comments

Kraszna-Krausz 2011 Book Awards short lists

Founded in 1985 by the Hungarian publisher Andor Kraszna-Krausz, the Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards showcase excellence among books on the still and moving image. The foundation awards two prizes of £5,000 per year to books offering the most significant contribution to photographic and/or moving image scholarship, history, criticism, science and conservation. The Kraszna-Krausz…


Added by Michael Wong on April 9, 2011 at 6:00 — No Comments

Salt Print: Rich Pickings .....

If you're feeling rich or have some loose change in your pocket after the cuts, how about an early original salt print of Daguerre made by Whipple in 1855? Apparently used to illustrate the February 1855 issue of The Photographic and Fine Art Journal, only 4 other examples are know to exist!

All this for a mere US $100,000 (or approx. £61,500 in good old English…


Added by Michael Wong on April 6, 2011 at 10:49 — 1 Comment

America Remembers: Civil War - 150th Anniversary

To coincide with the start of America's observance of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, which began 150 years ago on 12th April, a new exhibition featuring 400 haunting images will be held at the Jefferson Building, Library of Congress. Entitled “The Last Full Measure: Civil War Photographs from the Liljenquist Family Collection,” these are striking images, especially…


Added by Michael Wong on April 5, 2011 at 17:43 — No Comments

Book: A Guide to Victorian & Edwardian Portraits

An introduction to Victorian and Edwardian portraits (Peter Funnell and Jan Marsh) selected by the National Portrait Gallery and the National Trust. From the revolutionary ideas of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the mid-nineteenth century to outstanding society portraits of the early twentieth century, this guide encompasses the invention of photography,…


Added by Michael Wong on April 5, 2011 at 17:42 — No Comments

Exhibition: Eugène Atget - Paris, 1898 – 1924

Eugène Atget was not a trained photographer. Instead he only turned to this medium having been unsuccessful in other vocations. Having to earn a living, he took up photography and started out in the provinces but soon arrived in Paris where he lived for the rest of his life. Atget worked anonymously and was considered a commercial photographer who sold what he called…


Added by Michael Wong on April 4, 2011 at 17:42 — No Comments

Royal Society: Turning the Pages of Herschel & Captain Scott

Since 1660, the Royal Society has been collecting documents sent to it from all over the world which includes travel journals, diaries and letters. These have been digitised and published on a regular basis by the Royal Society on their website. So far, the Royal Society has digitised and released fewer than 20 documents from its archive of more than 250,000.



Added by Michael Wong on April 2, 2011 at 6:10 — No Comments

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