British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Michael Wong's Blog (656)

China : Through the lens of John Thomson 1868 - 1872

For those who might not have a chance to view this exhibition at the Merseyside Maritime Museum (see Events) before 6th June, a book has been published to accompany it. It can either be obtained from the Museum Shop (sold out as of today, but with more copies to follow) or from Amazon (168 pages, 310 x 310 mm, hardback with 157 black and white photographs; ISBN 978 616 7339 00 9).

An article on John Thomson was recently covered by the national press too:…


Added by Michael Wong on March 22, 2010 at 15:02 — No Comments

Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection

Helmut Gernsheim (1913-1995) was one of the most influential figures in the history of photography. He was one of a handful of people whose original research, collecting and writing took the field seriously and changed the way it was regarded. His scholarly and encyclopaedic book, The History of Photography (1955), co-written with his wife Alison, became the authoritative source on the subject. Over the years, Gernsheim managed to assemble a peerless collection of works by leading British,… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on March 18, 2010 at 11:28 — 1 Comment

In the Darkroom: Photographic Processes Before the Digital Age

For those BPH-bloggers interested in the technological developments in photographic processes from the origins of the medium until the advent of digital photography, there is an interesting book just published in Jan 2010. Written by Sarah Kennel with Diane Waggoner and Alice Carver-Kubik, the book is a compilation of essential information about the predominant negative, positive, and photomechanical processes in use since…


Added by Michael Wong on March 7, 2010 at 18:16 — 2 Comments

Photography! A Special Collection from the University of Leiden

For those of you who still haven't had a chance to visit the amazing British Library Points of View exhibition, you better to do as it ends this Sunday (7th March) !

However, if you happen to be in the Netherlands, near the Hague, anytime from now until 23rd April, you can catch a Dutch 'version' which they have called 'Photography' which covers the development of photography, from pioneer to the Dutch New Photography movement.

The first image produced using the camera… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on March 5, 2010 at 18:08 — No Comments

Wet Plate Collodion Photography - Frederick Archer

In honor of Frederick Scott Archer (1813–1857) , the inventor of the

Wet Plate Collodion photographic process, a new commemorative plaque

will be unveiled on his grave (Square 120 by the canal) on Saturday,

May 1, 2010. The Collodion Collective and World Wet Plate Day organized

and is sponsoring this event. There will be a live Wet Plate Collodion

demonstration, and an exhibition of Wet Plate Collodion work from

artists throughout the world at the Dissenters'… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on March 3, 2010 at 18:30 — 1 Comment

Photographic archive - Jewish Museum London

The Jewish Museum, after a £10m transformation, is due to reopen in Camden Town on 17 March 2010. Its picture library (over 20,000 images) has been fully digitised as TIFFs or JPEGs, for print or online use. The link to the library can be found here:

The largest category of images in the photographic archive are black and white photographs of Jewish life in London dating… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on March 2, 2010 at 9:30 — No Comments

An Edwardian Family Album - The story behind the pictures

This exhibition was the idea of David Price (1945-2008), known to his friends as Dai. David was a Flintshire based photography enthusiast and member of the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain.

Some years ago, he was given a large collection of glass negatives which had been found in the attic of a friend. The negatives numbered over 500, and were still contained in their original boxes and paper sleeves. Many were labelled with… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on February 27, 2010 at 21:17 — No Comments

Alice in Wonderland: on the trail of Lewis Carroll

As Tim Burton's new film, based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, hits the UK cinema screens, the National Media Museum, Bradford will be celebrating it by holding special Hidden Treasure Tours on Saturday 6th & 13th March, Sunday 7th &14th March. You will be able to see photographs taken by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) of Alice Liddell who inspired the character of Alice in these tours.

Lewis Carroll was born… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on February 27, 2010 at 12:46 — No Comments

William Henry Fox Talbot: Beyond photography (Thursday, 24 June to Saturday, 26 June)

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) is remembered primarily as a photographic pioneer and influential early voice on photographic aesthetics, but his activities as a Victorian intellectual and “gentleman of science” ranged widely across the natural sciences, classical scholarship and Assyriology. This interdisciplinary conference will approach Talbot’s work with this wider perspective in mind, bringing together art historians, curators, historians of science, and practitioners of the many… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on February 18, 2010 at 15:30 — No Comments

The Photography of Margaret Watkins - Annual Annan Lecture, 2010

The fifth annual Annan Lecture will be given by Joe Mulholland, who tells the extraordinary story of the highly distinguished and important photographer Margaret Watkins, who died in obscurity in Glasgow in 1969. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1884, Watkins was active in New York in the 1920s, where she had a studio in Greenwich Village and worked with Clarence White and the other great photographers of the period including Stieglitz and Strand. Her… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on February 17, 2010 at 11:46 — No Comments

Broadlands Archives

The University of Southampton has launched a major fundraising campaign to acquire a key collection of manuscripts that span major political and historical events of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The Broadlands Archives, which have been on loan to its library since 1989, contain rare papers and photographs including letters from Queen Victoria and Mrs Oscar Wilde and… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on February 12, 2010 at 17:22 — 1 Comment

The Endurance: Shackleton's legendary Antarctic adventure

Merseyside Maritime Museum, 16 July 2010 - 3 January 2011

A landmark exhibition about an incredible real life tale of survival, the epic story of Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Endurance expedition.

The exhibition features about 150 compelling photographs of the expedition's ordeal taken by ship photographer Frank Hurley, who dove into frigid waters to retrieve his glass plate negatives from the sinking Endurance. The photographs,… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on February 10, 2010 at 10:43 — No Comments

A brief History of British Photography - A Short Course

In conjunction with, and taking place at, The Photographers’ Gallery, this short course will introduce some of the key movements, developments and figures in photography in Britain, from the beginnings to the present day.

What is the course about?

This course examines the origins of photography starting from before its formal invention in the 1820s up to the present.

Technical developments to the present day.

What photography has been used for in the past and today,… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on February 2, 2010 at 10:26 — No Comments

World’s 'first' camera at auction

WestLicht Photographica ( is to auction off one of the first commercially produced cameras, a Giroux Daguerréotype, which is expected to fetch at least half a million euros. The Giroux Daguerréotype was made in Paris from 1839 in limited numbers from original plans drawn up by its inventor, Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, by his brother-in-law, Alphones Giroux. The camera… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on February 1, 2010 at 16:25 — No Comments

Darwin's Camera: Art and Photography in the Theory of Evolution

Darwin's Camera (Phillip Prodger; ISBN-10: 0195150317) tells the extraordinary story of how Charles Darwin changed the way pictures are seen and made.

In his illustrated masterpiece, Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1871), Darwin introduced the idea of using photographs to illustrate a scientific theory--his was the first photographically illustrated science book ever published. Using photographs to depict fleeting expressions of emotion--laughter, crying, anger, and so… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on January 25, 2010 at 9:48 — No Comments

Tunbridge Wells: H P Robinson print internationally recognised

Staff at Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery were surprised and delighted last month when two major art galleries from overseas contacted them about borrowing some of the Museum’s works of art for exhibitions in 2010 and 2011.

Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery was initially approached by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, who were keen to borrow the photograph ‘The Lady of Shalott’ by Henry Peach Robinson. The photograph is required for an exhibition called ‘The… Continue

Added by Michael Wong on January 16, 2010 at 14:26 — 2 Comments

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