British photographic history

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Lecture: John Thomson: Master Photographer / London, 14 June 2018

Richard Ovenden's lecture will explore the life and work of one of the greatest innovators in the history of the photography. John Thomson was the first to photograph the ruins of Angkor Wat, the first Western photographer to travel extensively in the interior of China, and the first photojournalist to document the lives of everyday people on the streets of Victorian London. His life and work will be set in context and will focus on the major contributions he made to the establishment of photography as one of the great modern means of communication.

Richard Ovenden is Bodley’s Librarian at the University of Oxford. His book John Thomson (1837–1921) Photographer, published two decades ago, remains one of the most authoritative works on John Thomson.

There will be an opportunity to visit the exhibition at the Brunei Gallery - China and Siam: Through the Lens of John Thomson after the lecture.

Thursday, 14 June 2018
18:00 – 20:00
DLT Lecture Theatre, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG

Click here to book

If you would like to donate to support a project to restore Thomson’s grave, you can make a contribution via JustGiving, at

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