Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
The V&A holds a set of stunning 20x16-inch transparencies by Arthur H. Downes of models wearing African fashions. The transparencies seem to have been made in Manchester in the 1960s and one them is labelled 'Model from Warri No. 5'. Warri is a city in Nigeria and also the name of a Nigerian modelling agency.
They are part of the Royal Photographic Society Collection and Downes was president of the RPS 1986-1988. He specialised in colour and began self-processing colour transparencies in the 1950s, including large-scale display transparencies such as these.
My colleagues and I are eager to uncover anything we can about these photographs: Why were they made? Were they ever displayed or published? Who were the models? Where did the fashions come from? Any information will be gratefully received!
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