News (108)

12200921876?profile=originalBushey Museum and Art Gallery, located near Watford, opens a temporary exhibition Amateur Photography in Bushey on 4 August. The display in the museum's entrance area displays cameras from the museum collection ranging from an 1870s George Hare quarter-plate tailboard camera up to modern digital cameras by way of an original Kodak, various Brownies, a Leica, AGI, Instamatic and many others. The cameras were owned or used by Bushey residents and the display has been arranged by museum volunteers Michael Pritchard and Patrick Forsyth.

Over forty cameras are on display (part only showing in course of arrangement, right) including the only camera actually made in Bushey - the J. Langham Thompson Thompson Land oscilloscope camera dating from the 1950s-1960s. The exhibition runs until early December 2011.

The museum is located close to the M1 and M25 and there is parking available close by.  Details of the museum's location and openings times can be found here:

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I am completing a project to create a searchable database of Photographic Society of London, later the Royal Photographic Society, members from 1853-1900. The database will be made publicly and freely available through the internet by De Montfort University in the Summer. If it is well received then its coverage may be extended. The project is well advanced with some 2200 unique names, addresses, membership category(ies) and relevant dates.

The data has been sourced from published Society membership lists, the Photographic Journal and Council Minutes held in the RPS Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford, and from other libraries and research collections. However, there are membership lists missing for particular years, especially for the early period, although it is probable that no such list was published for some of these. To ensure that the database is as complete as possible I am looking to track down missing membership lists for the following years: 1855; 1856; 1858; 1860-65; 1867-68 (PJ states none published); 1871-73; 1876-77; 1894; 1898. They are usually found bound in the respective volume of the Photographic Journal.

Perhaps those of you with institutional files, libraries or collections could check these for me. If you find you have any such lists please contact me off-list.

With thanks.

Dr Michael Pritchard

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12200910061?profile=originalDe Montfort University is recruiting students for the 2011/12 intake on its MA History of Photography and Practice course. The programme started in 2009 and his been widely acclaimed for its distinctive approach to the teaching of photographic history and its focus on handling original objects. The course has established close links with various photographic collections such as the National Media Museum, British Library, Birmingham Central Library and Wilson Centre of Photography.

Download the course poster here high res AAD_161_FINAL_High_Res.pdf or low res: AAD_161_FINAL_Low_Res.pdf.

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V+A seeks weddings photographs

12200909292?profile=originalIn advance of an exhibition of Wedding Dresses in 2013 London's Victoria and Albert Museum is creating a database of photographs of clothes worn for weddings from all cultures between 1840 and the present. This includes civil partnerships. This database will provide a rich record and help people date their own photographs. The museum is inviting people with images to upload them.

To ensure it builds a useful historical record all entries will provide the year of the event and the names of the bride and groom or partners. The place and the religion of the wedding will be included if possible. More details and the site are here:
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12200909462?profile=originalStreet photographs are at the heart of our understanding of London as a diverse and dynamic capital. They are characterised by an element of chance – a fortunate encounter, a fleeting expression, a momentary juxtaposition, capturing an ever-changing city.

This major new exhibition at the Museum of London showcases an extraordinary collection of London street photography with over 200 candid images of everyday life in the street. From sepia-toned scenes of horse-drawn cabs taken on bulky tripod-mounted cameras to 21st century Londoners digitally ‘caught on film’, explore how street photography has evolved from 1860 to the present day. Examine the relationship between photographers, London’s streets and the people who live on them, and reflect on the place of photography on London’s streets today as anti-terrorism and privacy laws grow ever tighter.

London Street Photography brings together the works of 59 photographers including:

  • Valentine Blanchard experimented with a small-format stereoscopic camera in 1860s London to produce the first photographs of busy city streets in which everything in motion was arrested in sharp definition.
  • John Thomson produced a ground-breaking survey of London’s poor with the publication of Street Life in London in 1877.
  • Paul Martin pioneered candid street photography in London when, in the early 1890s, he began using a camera disguised as a parcel to photograph people unawares.
  • Horace Nicholls was an early independent press photographer whose candid photographs of well-to-do Edwardians at leisure are particularly revealing.
  • Wolf Suschitzky came to London from Vienna in 1935 and began a personal project to photograph the life of Charing Cross Road, both day and night
  • Roger Mayne sought to record a way of life as he photographed a rundown area of North Kensington before it was redeveloped in the 1960s. Mayne became a familiar figure as he hung around the streets, camera at the ready.
  • Henry Grant was a freelance photojournalist with a profound interest in the everyday lives of ordinary peoples. He photographed London’s changing streets from the 1950s to the 1980s
  • Paul Trevor moved to Brick Lane in the East End in the early 1970s and photographed life on the street almost every day for the next 10 years. His photographs are a unique record of the area before large-scale immigration and gentrification wrought their changes
  • Paul Baldesare frequents London’s busy shopping streets, looking for remarkable gestures and expressions by individuals going about their everyday lives.
  • Nils Jorgensen is a professional news and celebrity photographer who always has his camera to hand to capture street images in between assignments.
  • Stephen McLaren seeks out quirky and colourful street images, while also leading a career directing and producing for television. He is co-author of the book Street Photography.
  • Nick Turpin is a great advocate for contemporary street photography, founding the In-Public collective in 2000 as well as a publishing company to promote the genre.

Click here for more information and details of related events

London Street Photography runs from 18 February – 4 September 2011 at the Museum of London and entry is FREE.

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Photographic disaster in Australian floods

PHOTOGRAPHIC DISASTER IN BOOVAL (IPSWICH), QUEENSLAND, JANUARY 2011-- I received an email on Friday 14th January from Ian Parker of the Club Rollei in Jersey (Channel Islands) telling me of the tragedy that had just overtaken Sandy Barrie the well-known camera and image collector. I then heard from Ian Carron in Melbourne with the same news. I then contacted one of Sandy’s friends, Marcel Safier in Brisbane, to make some arrangements, packed a few essentials, got straight in my car and drove north from Sydney to Brisbane some 800kms to see what I could do to help.

As I approached Grafton there were some 800 trucks parked by the roadside waiting for the flooded Princes Highway to be re-opened. I had to detour via the Summerland Highway and Bruckner Highways through Casino and Lismore to Byron Bay to re-join the Princes Highway to Brisbane. I finally arrived in Brisbane late Saturday afternoon, the journey having taken nearly twice as long as normal. Early Sunday morning Marcel drove me out to Booval to Sandy’s home.

Arriving there the first thing that hits you after the visual of all the mud in the trees and everywhere else, furniture and wrecked cars in front yards, was the foul smell as the sewers were also flooded. The recent Queensland floods had inundated his house to around two feet (600mm) short of the second floor ceiling. His six by eight meter shed at the bottom of the garden had been totally under water. He had moved his car up the hill to be safe, but sadly it also was under water and lost.

After a warning to evacuate from the State Emergency Services, he had spent the whole previous day to the flood moving the more valuable literature cameras and images upstairs in the firm belief they would be safe up there. The stream is some 100 meters to the rear of Sandy’s home, and some 30 meters lower. When I first saw it, … having receded, … it looked so innocent.

On Saturday Channel Seven news spent two hours doing a feature story on his circumstances which was shown nationwide as a five minute slot on the Sunday news.

Lydia Egunnike a conservator from the State library, but working under the auspices of the AICCM (Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material, was kept busy during the day removing for treatment and either freezing or refrigeration as appropriate, literally several Car and trailer loads of prints and negatives.

The camera collection is mostly ruined. Possibly some several thousands of items altogether, mostly rare and unusual things too, collected with loving care over the many years Sandy has been collecting.

The books, catalogs and ephemera were almost all totally ruined, irretrievably stuck together. This was estimated at around four tons for removal! The conservators chose a few of the especially rare items to take away for conservation and preservation.

Marcel and I started sorting brass lenses with iron parts in them (such as iris diaphragms) for drying so they didn’t rust. We found a Thornton Pickard multi lens camera first.

Next we opened up the wood and brass cameras so the bellows could dry. They were already growing mould at a great rate of knots, and the glue on the wood was already letting go.

At the same time a number of folk from the local collectors group, Cameraholics, were separating and drying prints. All were doing sterling back-breaking and foot-killing work. I joined the print rescue team just before it got dark.

Half way through the afternoon the Police arrived to check Sandy’s firearms were still under lock and key, only to find some ammunition and ordinance of First World War vintage. Later the army arrived to remove these items to a secure facility.

Poor Sandy meanwhile was in a state of shock, both missing his Voigtlander Daguerrian brass camera, and also finding valuable ($500-$600 each) photographic prints in the house contents that had been cleared by the non-photographic helpers that cleared his house. Also out front in the garden were huge printers, laminators and computers. A sad sight indeed … maybe the best part of one million dollars worth altogether.

Still in the shed was the unique and massive nearly three meter tall goliath-sized plate camera that had floated off it’s stand, and had fortunately come to rest tilted so the water drained out of it. Mercifully the weather was good, and there was no wind, so the prints that had been laid out on stretchers to dry didn’t blow away.

I guess the lesson we all learned from this is that if you have a large collection of anything, you need to identify the mostvaluable items (not by price, but rather in terms of replaceability) so that they can be salvaged quickly, and then the more replaceable items can be left for subsequent rescue or replacing. The important thing is to have many hands available to help, with heaps of packing materials, and suitable transport and safe alternate storage available.

Tony Hilton

Brisbane (for the moment)

January 2011

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12200908058?profile=originaldaguerreotype sold on eBay on 13 May for £3300. Under its cover glass was a typewritten label stating ‘Charles L. Dodgson / Christ Church 1858 (see illustration right)’. The case was gilt stamped with Claudet’s Adelaide Gallery address and had been previously opened and the image unsealed.  Unsurprisingly the lot attracted 960 views and had received 21 bids by the time the auction ended. Peter, the UK-based seller of the lot trading on eBay under the name of ‘virtually-cameras’, must have been very pleased. The price would not have been remarkable if the image was indeed that of Dodgson – better known, of course, as Lewis Carroll – but it clearly was not. For an example of a of a nice Claudet daguerreotype of an anonymous man the real value was at best closer to £300.

There is a back story to this item. The daguerreotype had been taken into Tennants, a large regional auction house in the north of England, for valuation and authentication. The auction house, properly recognising the daguerreotype’s potential wider interest and possible high value, did some research and made contact with one of the UK’s leading Carroll experts who consulted a second. Both pronounced the subject of the daguerreotype as someone other than Carroll. They made four key points: firstly, Claudet’s Adelaide Gallery was only operating between 1841 and 1847, secondly, by 1858 the daguerreotype process in Britain had been largely superseded by the wet collodion process in commercial photographic studios such as Claudets, and, thirdly, Carroll was a diligent and noted diarist and made no mention of a visit to Claudet’s studio, and finally, the gentlemen shown in the daguerreotype was not Dodgson which was immediately apparent to the experts - as a simple comparison with other known portraits (including a well-known 1857 portrait - see right, below) of Dodgson would reveal. The auction house rightly decided that they were not able to offer the daguerreotype at auction and it was returned to the owner.

12200908093?profile=originalIt resurfaced on eBay on 3 March 2011 offered by virtually-cameras. As has now been confirmed to me by someone with direct knowledge of the daguerreotype and the authentication (not the expert) the eBay seller was the same person who took it to the auction house for authentication. But Peter described the daguerreotype only as he saw it, albeit misspelling Dodgson as Dodson, Claudet as Claude and Adelaide as Adelade, and quoting the typewritten label in full. He was careful to say only that the daguerreotype was ‘labelled’ and he made no reference to Lewis Carroll. Peter made no mention of the fact that the daguerreotype had been examined by an expert who had discounted any possibility that it showed Dodgson. On 5 May Peter corrected the Claudet misspelling and added some biographical details about Claudet, presumably found on the internet.

As one might imagine an image of Carroll would attract considerable interest and the description contained plenty in it to allow it to be picked up by buyers’ search terms. Almost as soon as the lot was listed ‘Matthew’ asked Peter if he could buy it straight away for £300. Peter, quite properly declined. Ending an auction early to sell it would breach eBay’s terms of business. But Peter was also expressed surprised by the reaction the lot was attracting and said he wanted to let the auction run its course. A couple of further questions followed which he answered including confirmation of the size: ‘the frame size is 7.5 x 8.5 cm. The visible image is 6 x 5.5 cm’.

I was tipped off about the lot by a friend on 12 March. Looking at the description and image something didn’t ring true and I did some checking. I compared the image with others properly identified as Dodgson and I checked material I had on Claudet which confirmed his business addresses. I also knew that by 1857 it was more likely that the image should be a collodion positive or ambrotype.  I emailed Peter via eBay asking one question: ‘what did he know about the provenance of the image?’ pointing out that the label might allow people to make a link to Carroll which could be unfortunate. Peter responded promptly not really answering my question: ‘I'm sure you will realise after giving some serious thought that it's certainly not possible that I could know how the typed label was placed with the photograph,when the typed label clearly appears to be as old as the photograph! Perhaps you are unaware that a Daguerreotype is a negative image unlike the positive images with which you are making comparison.

In the meantime I did some research on typewriter history and I concluded that the label was post-1870 and probably c1890-1910. I responded to Peter saying that the provenance would have been useful as ‘I was hoping that the image might have come from a source that would have supported the identification of the subject’. I pointed out that the typewritten label was almost certainly post 1870. Peter again replied promptly: ‘The image was purchased some time ago along with another of a girl, an ambrotype, after being sold at auction in Darlington County Durham’. He also asserted that typewriters dated back to the ‘late 1700s’ and that daguerreotypes ‘show a positive image when tilted against the light however the sitters image is reversed onto backing silvered material during exposure making it a true negative image and only by changing the angle of lighting does the Daguerreotype give the impression of being a positive’. Peter decided not to publish my questions and his responses alongside the description (eBay automates this if it is wanted) – unlike those of his other questioners. I decided to leave it at that.

As I stated at the beginning the daguerreotype sold for £3300.

I think there are a couple of lessons here. For the seller, some simple research should have thrown up some concerns about the image's subject. Peter has been on eBay since 2008. Looking at his past sales he appears to mainly sell modern photographic equipment on eBay, for which he has received good feedback, so the daguerreotype was clearly out of his main area of expertise. Some simple checking would have flagged up that the image was unlikely to be Carroll. He was clearly surprised at the interest the lot was generating and this might have acted as a warning. Since originally writing the piece I have been advised by someone who had discussed the matter with Peter was Peter had been the person who took the daguerreotype to the auction house. As such he clearly had a duty to flag the opinion that the experts had raised in his eBay description.  

Buyers also have a responsibility – caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). Peter carefully made no link to Dodgson and simply described the daguerreotype as he saw it - allowing buyers to draw their own conclusions. It might be possible that two buyers liked a possible Claudet daguerreotype and were prepared to pay well over the normal price for such an image. That is unlikely. What is more likely is that bidders thought that they were about to get a bargain which they could resell at a profit; or they bid having jumped to their own conclusion that the subject was Carroll and failed to carry out any further research. It would not have been difficult to do and for the eventual buyer it might have prevented an expensive mistake.

A cautionary tale, indeed.

Dr Michael Pritchard

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12200908455?profile=originalAn exhibition of photographs by Roger Fenton and Julia Margaret Cameron from the Royal Collection will go on display from 31 January until 27 April 2011 at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, in the Lake District.


This exhibition demonstrates the exceptionally important patronage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at an early stage in the history of photography by highlighting two key photographers: Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-79) and Roger Fenton (1819-63). The photographs by Roger Fenton in the Royal Collection rank as one of the world’s finest holdings of Fenton’s work. The small group of images by Julia Margaret Cameron is in outstanding condition and relatively unknown.

This exhibition at Blackwell is complemented by a small display of photographs and photographic objects relating to the development of photography in the Lake District drawn from private collections and from the Lakeland Arts Trust’s own collections.


31 January - 27 April 2011

Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House
LA23 3JT

More details are at:


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12200907478?profile=originalThe National Archives has digitised thousands of unique images of Africa and published them on Flickr this week. The collection spans more than 100 years of African history, from as early as the 1860s, including images of people, places, national and imperial events, conflict and natural disasters.

The images were transferred to The National Archives from the Colonial Office Library's photographic collection and offer a unique insight into life in the colonies. Approximately 10,000 images, a third of the entire collection, have been digitised so far.

As some of the images have minimal context, the public is invited to contribute to these historical assets by adding comments and captions, filling in knowledge gaps.

Oliver Morley, Acting Chief Executive of The National Archives, said: 'An online collection like this reaches beyond the academic world and into people's living rooms, enabling everyone to contribute to our understanding of past events.'

The 'Africa through a lens' collection is available now to view. Find out more and access the images here:  There is also a news report here:


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Photographic collections are found in libraries, archives and museums all over the world. Their sensitivity to environmental conditions, and the speed with which images can deteriorate present special challenges. This one day training session is led by Susie Clark, accredited photographic conservator. It is aimed at those with responsibility for the care of photographic collections regardless of institutional context.

The day provides an introduction to understanding and identifying photographic processes and their vulnerability, information on common conservation problems and solutions, and the preservation measures that can be taken to prolong the life and accessibility of photographic collections. Contact with real examples of different photographic processes is an important feature of this training session which is therefore limited to only 16 places. At the end of the day participants will be able to:

  • identify historic photographic processes
  • explain how damage is caused
  • implement appropriate preservation measures
  • commission conservation work.

Feedback from previous participants

  • I learned how to store photographic material, how to identify different photographic processes and techniques to preserve photographic stock.
  • Very worthwhile due to practical nature of the training day. I am able to leave here today confident that we can improve and upgrade basic preservation solutions, particularly storage, based on information learned about photographic processes and supports.
  • I will review our approach to preserving photographic collections, upgrade storage media, and survey collections to identify preservation priorities.


  9.45 Registration
10.00 Welcome and introduction
10.15 History and identification of photographic processes
11.30 Break
11.45 Conservation problems and solutions
12.45 Lunch
13.45 Conservation problems and solutions
14.45 Break
15.00 Preservation measures
16.15 End (and further opportunity to look at examples)

Preservation Advisory Centre Training Day

Friday 20 May 2011

British Library Centre for Conservation
96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB

Click below for details of the event:

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Annie Leibovitz visits the NMeM


12200905661?profile=originalWorld renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz visited the National Media Museum on Tuesday 14 December - the latest stop on a personal journey she is undertaking looking at places relating to inspirational and culturally significant people. Her travels, which will be documented in an upcoming book titled Pilgrimage, brought her to Bradford to view and photograph items belonging to Julia Margaret Cameron (1815 – 1879), part of the Royal Photographic Society Collection in the National Photography Collection which is held here.



Annie looked at personal letters, photographs, albums and a folio, all of which belonged to Cameron, one of the earliest pioneers of photography. Cameron, like Annie, was celebrated as a great photographer and for her work producing portraits of famous people and historical figures of the era.

Annie said: "I am very impressed with how you care for such legacies – of Julia Margaret Cameron's work and items from the Royal Photographic Society period. There really are treasures here. It is one thing to take care of such work but to give this access to anyone who wants to study or see it is fantastic."



Annie is shown in the photograph with Curator Colin Harding.

The full blog entry can be seen here:






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Leicester's 12200905867?profile=originalDe 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.”

The full press release is here and report from the Kent News can be found here.

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12200905282?profile=originalPeople looking to uncover the true spirit of the iconic and currently ubiquitous wartime poster, Keep Calm and Carry On, may want to head to the Royal Air Force Museum to see the real backdrop of this chirpy wartime notice. The Mayor of London’s photographic and image based exhibition, commissioned by Boris Johnson for City Hall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the London Blitz, is heading from its temporary home for a spell at the historic Hendon site.
Dedicate to the individuals involved in the emergency, volunteer, transport and specialist services who kept London going during the darkest days of the War, the exhibition features hard-hitting wartime images together with histories culled from the collections of various London organisations.
Each of dramatic photographs vividly portrays the story of London’s people, their determination and ‘Blitz Spirit’ at time when 30,000 Londoners were killed, entire communities destroyed and countless thousands left homeless.
The aerial bombing campaign on London during the Second World War ran from September 7 to May 11 1941. During this period 50,000 bombs and millions of incendiary devices fell on the city.
We are particularly honoured to display this collaborative effort,” said Ian Thirsk, Head of Collections at the Royal Air Force Museum, “Iwhich narrates the story of how so many of the capital’s organisations were central to the on-going delivery of vital public services during late 1940 and early 1941.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson also welcomed the exhibition's showing at the RAF Museum and similarly paid tribute to the “bravery and dogged determination of the men and women who battled to keep London going in the face of a terrifying and unremitting bombardment. This tremendous spirit and resilience remain at the very heart of the capital and we owe a huge debt of gratitude and respect to all those who helped secure London's future.”
The rarely seen images have been provided by London Transport Museum, the Museum of London, the Metropolitan Police Historical Collection, the Fire Brigade Museum, London Ambulance Service, Barts and London NHS and the Royal Pioneer Corps Association.

The London Blitz 70th anniversary Exhibition, The Bomber Hall of the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon until May 31 2011.

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12200905083?profile=originalWilliam Blackmore (1827-1878) remains a little knownmillionaire mid-Victorian polymath. He was a successful lawyer based in Liverpool and subsequently London. An international financier involved in numerous North American land grants, he was also principal financier of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. His reputation by the mid 1870s within London financial circles was that he ‘has means of obtaining information in the City such as very few men possess.’ Blackmore visited Salt Lake City and met Brigham Young (1801-1877), president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and wrote a confidential report on the ‘Mormon Empire’ for the Cabinet of the British government and independent industrial leaders; in April 1872 Blackmore dined at the White House with United States President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885); he funded and populated with artefacts perhaps the leading ethnographic museum in 19th century Great Britain, located in his home town of Salisbury; he was an early patron of the leading Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) and the commissioner of an influential set of watercolours of the Yellowstone region by Thomas Moran (1837-1926); and he was acknowledged by contemporaries to have so effectively exploited photography to document North American Indians that his photographic collection was copied to form the basis of the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Yet Blackmore’s legacy was to be comparatively limited. He went bankrupt and committed suicide in 1878. Shortly after his untimely death, his papers and other materials were consigned to storage and lay apparently unused for almost half a century. William’s other art collections were subsumed within those of his brother and loyal ally, Humphrey. Following Humphrey’s death in 1929 a major dispersal campaign began in earnest. While some of William’s business documents were saved, a significant number were apparently destroyed, and artefacts were subsequently dispersed through auction and sale to other public and private institutions. The Blackmore Museum was incorporated with that of the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum after Blackmore’s death, and was amalgamated in 1902; it remained something of a place of pilgrimage to American archaeologists until the early 20th century. While a new gallery was built in 1933 linking the buildings of the Blackmore Museum to the Salisbury Museum, William’s museum was already in terminal decline and its collections were to be broken up and dispersed over a period of over four decades.

Anthony Hamber has written the first biography of William Blackmore to cover the wide gamut of his professional and private interests and the significance and impact of his wide ranging achievements. With reproductions of many Victorian photographs, and a diligently researched text, fully referenced with bibliography and index, Hamber’s work is a major contribution to understanding an important but neglected figure and his world.

Collecting the American West: the Rise and Fall of William Blackmore, by Anthony Hamber is published by Hobnob Press, December 2010, 320pp paperback, many illustrations,

The flyer can be downloaded here: Collecting%20the%20American%20West%20%20A5%20flier.pdf

  £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-10-5. Copies are available through booksellers or directly (UK postage free) from the publisher, Hobnob Press, PO Box 1838, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6FA, or email: 
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The Royal Collection has two cataloguing vacancies available both of which involve working with photographs held in the Collection.

  • Cataloguer Twentieth Century Photographs.
  • Based in the Royal Photograph Collection the role will entail working under the direction of the curator on cataloguing the remaining material in the collection, which is primarily 20th century. This ranges from official works by leading British photographers like Beaton, Snowdon and Lichfield, to press photographs and to personal snapshots taken by members of the Royal Family. . The role is for a fixed term of two years.
    Required: A broad knowledge of 20th-century British history and the history of photography;  relevant graduate or post-graduate qualification or equivalent experience; sound IT skills and a familiarity with art-collection databases.

    This is a fixed term post from April 2011 to April 2013. At a salary of £19,100. Details here: The deadline for entries is 13 February 2011.

  • Raphael Collection Cataloguer
  • The Print Room is part of the Royal Library section of the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. It is responsible for the works of art on paper in the Royal Collection, including old master drawings, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century watercolours, and prints – over 150,000 items in all. Among this material is the Prince Consort’s Raphael Collection, a unique assemblage of over 5,000 prints and photographs begun by Prince Albert in 1853 and intended to record every work by or after Raphael and his workshop.

    Although the Raphael Collection was catalogued in 1876 it has never been widely accessible, and the intention is now to record it on the Royal Collection’s Collections Management System (CMS) and make it available on the Royal Collection’s website. We are therefore seeking a cataloguer on a fixed-term basis, who will be responsible for entering information about each item to a uniform scholarly standard on the CMS.

    This is a fixed term post from April 2011 to April 2013. At a salary of £19,100. Details here: Download a job description here:
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12200904473?profile=originalThe latest issue of the V+A Photographs Department newsletter for January 2011 has just been published. It details current exhibitions and recent activities of the staff members within the department (Martin Barnes, Marta Weiss, Susanna Brown and Rachel Francis) as well as highlighting recent acquisitions - including the Maurice Broomfield archive (see illustration, right). BPH readers can sign up for the the newsletter (which is emailed as a PDF) by contacting Rachel Francis at The current issue can be seen here:  V+A Photography Department January 2011 newsletter. The department's excellent Shadowless photography exhibition remains open until the 20 February.
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London Photograph Fairs 2011

The dates have been announced for the 2011 London Photograph Fairs which will take place on 20 February, 15 May, 11 September and 20 November 2011. The venue will be the Holiday Inn, Coram Street, London, close to Russell Square tube station and within walking distance of Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross mainline stations. Admission is £3. For more information see

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Falmouth: Masters of Photography

Falmouth Art Gallery has a small but important collection of 20th century and contemporary photography. It boasts the largest collection of Lee Miller photographs outside of the Lee Miller archive and has remarkable images by Eve Arnold, Fay Godwin and Linda McCartney. The collection is particularly strong in Surrealist photographs including works by Lee Miller’s husband Sir Roland Penrose, Man Ray and Jonathan X. Coudrille.

Contemporary photographers include Bob Berry, Susan Boafo, Vince Bevan, Miles Flint, Nick Meek, Steve Tanner and Anthony & Kate Fagin. See also ‘Underwater Photography' for marine photographs by the award winning Mark Webster.

Falmouth Art Gallery will be exhibiting material from this collection under the title 'Masters of Photography from 12 February-2 April 2011. The exhibition will profile in particular the work of Ian Stern.

To view the Falmouth Art Gallery's 20th century photographic holdings on their web catalogue:

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An archive of Brunel material consigned by a descendant of Sir Marc Isambard Brunel was sold at auction on 2 November 2010 (click to see the full sale) by Tooveys in Sussex. Included in the sale were several items of photographic interest, click to see the full descriptions:

  • BRUNEL, Isambard Kingdom (1806-1859). - Robert HOWLETT and George DOWNES (photographers). A stereoscopic 'double' patent, titled on pink paper label verso '16. "The Leviathan" Steam Ship. Portrait of Mr. Brunel'. [London:] Photographic Institution, [n.d. but circa 1857?]. Overall card size 174 x 85mm. (images with arched top, each 75 x 73mm.). - And four other related images (stereocard views of the Great Eastern). Provenance: Lady Sophia Macnamara Hawes neé Brunel (1802-1878), sister of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (inscriptions verso). Sold for £17,000
  • BRUNEL, Isambard Kingdom (1806-1859). - Unknown photographer. A shaped photographic portrait of Brunel. [N.p.: n.d. but circa 1857 or earlier]. Irregularly shaped and laid down on thin card. (Faded). Provenance: Lady Sophia Macnamara Hawes neé Brunel (1802-1878), sister of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Apparently a calotype, sold for £2200

  • HAWES, Sir Benjamin, (1797-1862), and Lady Sophia Macnamara HAWES neé BRUNEL (1802-1878). An album of topographical, military and portrait photographs, apparently assembled by or for Sir Benjamin and Lady Sophia Hawes. [N.p.: n.d. but circa 1857-1868]. Large 4to (283 x 226mm.), 66 leaves mounted with an original pencilled watercolour portrait of Lady Hawes by her daughter, dated 1865; 96 mounted photographic portraits (most carte-de-visite format, including 16 of royalty, a number accompanied by clipped signatures); 59 British topographical photographic views; 5 topographical photographic views of Canton (one inscribed 'taken by Corporal Wotherspoon R.E. April 1850' but torn into image area); 35 photographs of cannons, military equipment and constructions (one with associated label 'Photographic Establishment of the War Department'). (The majority slightly faded.) Original green morocco gilt, g.e. (scuffed, lower joint split). Note: Sir Benjamin served as Minister of War during the Crimean War. Sold for £13,000

  • DICKINS, Frederick Victor (1838-1915, ?compiler). - Unknown photographer. An album of mounted topographical photographs of Japan. [Japan: n.d. but circa 1870-1879.]. Folio (360 x 260mm.) 54 mounted photographs (most 210 x 283mm.); 35 mounted coloured scenes of Japanese life printed on cloth; 4 mounted Japanese botanical prints on paper, on 55 card leaves. Original green half-morocco (worn). Provenance: Thomas Dickins (Edgemoor House, Manchester, bookplate). Note: Frederick Victor Dickins, an orientalist of note and translator of Japanese literature, lived in Japan from 1871 to 1879. He appears to have annotated the album for Thomas Dickins. Sold for £4000

  • RAILWAYS. Unknown photographer. A fine side view of 'The Puffing Billy'. [N.p.: n.d. but circa 1855-1862.] 1 photograph (200 x 278mm.) backed onto paper with early manuscript caption slip. (Somewhat faded). Note: 'The Puffing Billy is one of the two earliest surviving locomotives. Sold for £750

  • PHOTOGRAPHS. A carte-de-visite album containing a good selection of photographs depicting 19th Century authors, scientists and others. [N.p.: n.d. but circa 1870-1890.] 4to (285 x 215mm.) 23 leaves with 140 carte-de-visite or cabinet photographs, a few with associated clipped signatures, subjects include C. Darwin, T. Huxley, L. Pasteur, T. Edison, H.W. Longfellow, N. Hawthorne, C. Dickens, E.A. Poe, Gen. R.E. Lee, Charles Peace, J.E. Millais. Original morocco (worn). Sold for £4000

  • TALBOT, William Henry Fox (1800-1877). A mounted calotype from 'The Pencil of Nature', with manuscript title to mount 'Bust of Patroculus' [n.p.: n.d. but 1843]. Calotype (143 x 139mm.) With ruled ink border, on original thin card mount (303 x 240mm.), with number '17' below lower-right corner of the calotype, and title in ink at lower-right corner of the mount. (Print faded, light soiling to mount). Note: plate 17, showing Talbot's plaster cast of a Hellenistic marble, from his 'The Pencil of Nature'. Sold for £600

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Manchester design consultancy NRN Design has been appointed to create new Internet galleries at the National Media Museum in Bradford, which will explore the history, evolution and social impact of the Internet. The contract is worth £88,000. More illustrations are available here. The same company was responsible for the computrer games lounge situtated in the museum foyer.

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