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Leicester's De Montfort University will be supporting the MA research of Brian Carr on 43 extremely rare daguerreotypes. The daguerreotypes are part of the collection of Maidstone Museum where Carr, a photography enthusiast, has been a long-standing volunteer.
The valuable collection of early photographs date back to 1851 and include stills of the King of Hawaii, his wife and the Royal entourage. They were brought to Maidstone by Julius Brenchley, the third son of wealthy Maidstone brewer. He was educated at Cambridge University and undertook a scientfic expedition in 1851 to the Sandwich Islands (now known as Hawaii). He later he went on to the Great Salt Lake City, visited the plains Indians in America and brought back further images.
Brian, who took up photography at 14, said he cannot wait to get to grips with the collection: “Naturally I had read about Daguerreotypes, but actually holding one of these early images made the hairs on the back of my neck stand-up. The thought went through my mind that I am in effect travelling back 150 years and here is a person looking back at me. This is something that I have never felt with any other process. To hold a one-off Daguerreotype is to hold a slice of time, frozen into perpetuity. I am extremely honoured to have unrestricted access to such a rare collection, and hope that I can do it justice in my MA.”
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