exhibition (26)

12201163674?profile=originalIt is my absolute pleasure to announce that from the 24 April (yes I know it is May please don’t judge me) to 19 June 2021 Llantarnam Grange will be hosting Phrame Wales newest exhibition Ode To Anna.

Ode to Anna is a celebration of the legacy of Anna Atkins, one of the first female photographers and champion of the Cyanotype process. This show exhibits work by members of Phrame that has either been inspired by Atkins or draws attention to her innovation and the themes surrounding her images. Ode to Anna not only highlights the lasting impression she has made on the photographic world and its history but showcases a range of photographic processes being practiced within South Wales today.⁠

Artists : Molly CaenwynSavanna DumelowFaye L-Griffiths, Sharon MagillKate MercerJane Nesbitt, Tess Emily SeymourCatherine Yemm & Patricia Ziad

Llantarnam Grange is open Tuesday to Saturday 9:30 – 3:30 (Free admission).
Currently visitors are limited to 6 people in any room at any one time.
Face masks are a requirement. 


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12201104061?profile=originalDramatic photos taken at the height of the Handsworth Riots are to appear on billboards across the city this month in a project by two of the city's most influential black artists.

Poems by Benjamin Zephaniah will accompany the images taken by Pogus Caesar for Handsworth 1985 Revisited.

The two men - both 'sons of Handsworth' - hope the work will be a stark reminder that anger caused by neglect, poverty and racism can sometimes erupt into violence. 

As Caesar describes it: "A tiny spark can become a gigantic flame". “The conditions I see when I walk around Handsworth and Lozells are very much the same as they were back in 1985.

"Those riots were the result of frustration built up over years of people suffering from poor job prospects, poor housing, poverty, harassment, racism, and a ‘them-and-us’ situation."

The artist was living in Handsworth when the riots erupted in September 1985.

The stunning images he captured at the time on his 35mm Canon camera will feature alongside reflective poems by writer and Handsworth ‘elder statesman’ Zephaniah.

They will be appearing in up to 20 locations around the city centre and on roadsides later this month.

The project, which has been three years in the making, is designed to “stimulate conversation” about the underlying issues of disengagement, deprivation and racism that still stalk the inner city.

 “We hope they will afford a provocative walk through the events of 1985 and a sobering, timely reminder of how easily ignorance, inequality and justice begets social unrest,” Caesar said.


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12201027662?profile=originalIn the late 1960s. twenty-one year old David Peat created a portfolio of Glasgow photographs to help him gain entry to the film business.  Shortly before he died in 2012, Peat, long respected as a leading and award-winning cinematographer and documentary film maker, finally made these extraordinary images available to the public.  As perceptions of street life in Gorbals and other parts of Glasgow, they are beautifully crafted and touching, especially as the bulldozers were about to move in and an entire way of life was coming to an end.

This is the first time these photographs, hidden for forty years, will have been exhibited in London. 

Two books of David Peat's work will be available at Panter and Hall, Eye on the Street and Eye on the World..

Panter and Hall
11-12 Pall Mall




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12201019888?profile=originalThis is a fascinating exhibition about the history of London portrayed through Victorian era photographs. The best photographs in the posting are by John Thomson. The composition of these images is exemplary with their eloquent use of light and low depth of field. The seemingly nonchalant but obviously staged positioning of the figures is coupled with superb rendition of light in photographs such as 'Old Furniture', 'London Nomades' and 'Recruiting Sergeants At Westminster'.

The details are intriguing, such as shooting contre-jour or into the light in 'Recruiting Sergeants At Westminster' with one of the soldiers and the two street lads in the distance staring directly at the camera. This seems to be a technique of Thomson’s, for there is always one person in his intimate group photographs staring straight at the camera, which in this era is unusual in itself. The women on the steps of the Romany caravan stares straight at the camera, one of the two children framed in the doorway behind slightly blurred, telling us the length of the exposure.

Then we have the actual characters themselves. With his tall hat and what seems to be scars around his mouth, the man centre stage in The Cheap Fish Of St. Giles’s (1877, below) reminds me of that nasty character Bill Sikes out of Charles Dicken’s immortal Oliver Twist (1837-39). And the poverty stricken from the bottom of the barrel… the destitute women and baby in The “Crawlers” – Portrait of a destitute woman with an infant (1877, below). “The abject misery into which they are plunged is not always self sought and merited; but is, as often, the result of unfortunate circumstances and accident.” It must have been so tough in that era to survive every day in London. See Matthew Beaumont. Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London, Chaucer to Dickens. London and New York: Verso, 2015.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for Art Blart



John Thomson
The “Crawlers” – Portrait of a destitute woman with an infant
© City of London: London Metropolitan Archives

“The industrial and social developments of the 19th century and their effect on the city and by extension the poor in Britain were subjects of interest and detailed study in the Victorian period. Street Life in London by Adolphe Smith and John Thomson is a good example of this and in particular, its use of early photographic processes.

Adolphe Smith was an experienced journalist connected to social reform movements. While John Thomson was a photographer who had spent considerable time in the Far East, especially China, and central to his work was the photography of streets and individuals at work. Produced in 12 monthly issues, starting in February 1877, each issue had three stories accompanied by a photograph. Most of the text was written by Smith, although two are attributed to Thomson – London Nomades and Street Floods in Lambeth. The images were staged as tableau rather than being spontaneous street scenes and the relatively new process – Woodburytype – was used to reproduce the images consistently in large numbers for the publication.”

Text from the London Metropolitan Archives Facebook page


Unknown photographer
Trafalgar Square
c. 1867
© City of London : London Metropolitan Archives

The first proposal for a square on the site of the former King’s Mews was drawn up by John Nash. It was part of King George IV’s extravagant vision for the west end curtailed by his death in 1830. Trafalgar Square was completed between 1840 and 1845 by Sir Charles Barry. There had been proposals to erect a monument to Horatio Nelson since his death at Trafalgar in 1805 but it was 1838 before a committee was formed to raise funds and consider proposals. William Railton’s design was chosen from dozens of entrants and his impressive Devonshire granite column with its statue of Nelson by E. H. Baily was erected in 1839-43. It was already attracting photographers before the scaffolding was dismantled. The four lions at the base of the column were originally to be in stone rather than bronze but it was 1857 before a commission was given to the artist Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-1873). This photograph shows two of the lions when newly positioned some ten years later.

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12201018461?profile=originalIn research I am conducting about the first exhibitions of photography, I have been made aware of entries in the 1841 Royal Scottish Academy annual exhibition catalogue. 

Roddy Simpson, in his book The Photography of Victorian Scotland, states that four Daguerreotypes were exhibited, but information I received directly from the RSA indicates only three were displayed.The catalogue provides entries for three Daguerreotypes, all by a photographer identified only as "Montreal, D. 18 Drummond Street, Paris."

I am unable to find anything online about this individual, and I am posting this to see if anyone has any further information. Here is the entry page from the catalogue:12201018461?profile=original

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12200994854?profile=originalAn exhibition of photography by war hero Terence Spencer is now open at the new Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery this summer until 31st August. With two audacious careers, first as a World War II fighter pilot and later as a celebrated photo-journalist for American magazine LIFE; ‘Living Dangerously’ will showcase the work Terry did to capture momentous events from the swinging sixties and the rise of The Beatles to the horror of conflicts in the Congo, Vietnam and Northern Ireland.

The exhibition has been curated by Terry’s eldest daughter, Cara Spencer, who was left a remarkable photo archive of over one million negatives when her father passed away in 2009. Commenting on the new exhibition, Cara says:

“Dad led quite a life. He was a combination of Biggles and James Bond all rolled into one. The show will tell the story of his remarkable life, as well as the lives of those he captured so poignantly on film. We’ll have black and white reportage photographs and huge colour images, as well as memorabilia from his time in the RAF. I’m looking forward to sharing the iconic works and hidden gems of dad’s collection with visitors to the museum”.

There will also be pictures from Rockarchive, featuring Terry Spencer’s photos of stars including Marianne Faithfull, Robert Plant, Oasis, The Police and The Smiths. Rockarchive’s founder Jill Furmanovsky says:

“Terry Spencer was a great friend to Rockarchive and contributed a collection of marvellous images, including Robert Plant striding through the woods of Herefordshire, John, Paul, George and Ringo in various settings and Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight in his famous white suit”.

Tina Woodward, Shropshire Council deputy Cabinet member for visitor economy, said:

“The collection is simply amazing and I’m really proud to see such high quality exhibitions coming to the new Museum & Art Gallery. The wide variety of subjects in the collection means there is something for everyone to delve into.”

Run by Shropshire Council, the new Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery opened in April 2014 as the result of a major restoration project on the town’s old Music Hall, where The Beatles performed on two separate occasions in 1962/3. The ‘Living Dangerously’ collection of photographs, which takes its name from Terry and his wife Lesley’s joint autobiography, will be housed in the Special Exhibitions Gallery overlooking The Square and Old Market Hall.

The exhibition ‘Living Dangerously’ will run 19 July – 31 August. Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is open 10am – 5pm, seven days a week. Admission is £4.00 per adult and £2.00 per child, which includes entry to the Special Exhibitions Gallery. Concessions are available. For more information visit www.shrewsburymuseum.org.uk

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Exhibition: Living Dangerously opened

'Living Dangerously' - The Terence Spencer Photographic Exhibition is the first such show at the newly launched £10m Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery in the heart of the town's historic centre. The Museum is based in the former Music Hall which was the town's principal entertainment venue from 1840 to 2009 and saw many musical acts including The Beatles in 1962/3. Now the Fab Four are back with some beautiful images taken by Terence Spencer when he followed the band around for four months in 1963.

Terence Spencer's work covers wars in Vietnam and the Congo, personalities such as Princess Grace, filmstars like Ava Gardner, John Mills, Richard Chamberlain, Rex Harrison and politicians such as Edward Heath, Tony Benn and Margaret Thatcher.

Terry's photos are supplemented by those of other rock photographers such as Jill Furmanovsky which have been kindly loaned by Rockarchive and feature Oasis, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney and George Martin, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Jimi Hedrix and Amy Winehouse.

The Exhibition was launched on Friday 18th July by his daughter Cara who lives near Shrewsbury and is the custodian of her late father's extensive archive. Photos are licensed via Camera Press and more information about the archive can be found at http://terencespencerphotoarchive.net

The exhibition is in the main gallery on the first floor which has large windows giving excellent views of The Square and the 1596 Old Market Hall, now a cinema and cafe bar.

The Museum & Art Gallery is in the heart of Shrewsbury's medieval town centre and tells the history of the town from its Roman origins at Wroxeter through The Industrial Revoloution to modern manufacturing.

Admission to the whole Museum & Art Gallery including the Exhibition costs £4 for adults and £2 for children.



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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: http://www.busheymuseum.org

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12200914089?profile=originalBernard Quaritch will be exhibition photographic highlights from the Terry Bennett collection of early Chinese photography 1849-1911 from 6-11 June 2011 at its Golden Square Gallery, London. Bennett has produced two highly acclaimed volumes in a six-part series dealing with the history of photography in China. Details of the exhibition can be found in the attached PDF Bennett%20Exhib%20announce.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: http://www.vam.ac.uk/things-to-do/wedding-fashion/home
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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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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: www.blackwell.org.uk


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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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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: http://fag.looksystems.net/Collection/Masters_of_Photography

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Manchester and J T Chapman - exhibition

Following recent discoveries in the John Rylands Library Special Collections, UNDEREXPOSED is an exhibition in Collaboration withThe Museum of Science and Industry, celebrating the life of one of Manchester’s early photographic pioneers, J.T. Chapman.

Chemist, inventor and photographer, Chapman invented some of the processes that were to become standard in early photography. However, he is widely omitted from history books as he published his formula under the pseudonym ‘Ostendo non Ostento’ (I show, not boast). Working from Deansgate, Manchester, Chapman also invented and sold his own cameras and projectors.

The exhibition also showcases a selection of glass plate negatives, recently discovered and linked to the Langford Brooke family of Mere Hall in Cheshire, which have been cleaned, re-housed and digitised by CHICC.

CHICC is The Centre for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care, a JISC funded project to develop a Centre for Heritage Digitisation, based within the University of Manchester.

The John Rylands Library will be holding a series of events associated with the exhibition, for more information please contact 0161 306 0555 or email jrul.events@manchester.ac.uk

The exhibition is at the John Rylands Library, Crawford Room, from Wednesday 29 September to Sunday 28 November. Admission is free.

There will be a curator tour on Wednesday, 3 November between 1200-1300 and 1400-1500, both of which are free.

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Camille Silvy was a pioneer of early photography and one of the greatest French photographers of the nineteenth century. This exhibition includes many remarkable images which have not been exhibited since the 1860s.

Over 100 works, including a large number of carte de visites, focus on a ten-year creative burst from 1857-67 working in Algiers, rural France, Paris and London and illustrate how Silvy pioneered many now familiar branches of the medium including theatre, fashion and street photography.

Working under the patronage of Queen Victoria, Silvy photographed royalty, aristocrats and celebrities. He also portrayed uncelebrated people, the professional classes and country gentry, their wives, children and servants.

The results offer a unique glimpse into nineteenth-century society through the eyes of one of photography's outstanding innovators.

The exhibition has been curated by Mark Haworth-Booth.

There are a series of lectures and events around the exhibitions - details here: http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/exhibitions/camille-silvy-photographer-of-modern-life-1834-1910.php

National Portrait Gallery - 15 July-24 October 2010

Tickets £5/£4.50/£4

To book advance tickets call 020 7907 7079 (transaction fee applies)

Exhibition organised by the Jeu de Paume, Paris, in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, London

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Silvy exhibition opens this week

The National Portrait Gallery's Camille Silvy exhibition opens this week on 15 July. For any BPH readers in London the NPG bookshop is already selling curator Mark Haworth-Booth's book and catalogue of the show along with other relevant books, poster, cards and souvenirs. As one would expect the book is a fascinating read with well-reproduced illustrations and excellent value at £20 (hardback only). The exhibition space itself remains hidden behind locked doors...

Details of the exhibition and associated lectures and events can be found here: http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/exhibitions/2010/camille-silvy1.php Most of the events are free but are likely to be popular and you are advised to turn up early to ensure a place.

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Made at Lacock Abbey by William Henry Fox Talbot in August 1835, the world’s first photographic negative changed the world. A new exhibition, Celebrating the Negative launching on 3 July at the Fox Talbot Museum will display images by John Loengard, a highly acclaimed American photographer, who travelled the world during the 1990s visiting archives and photographers’ studios to see the original negatives of images that have changed photography and the world.

The images show the original negatives in the hands of the archivist or photographer which brings their scale into play and points up the fact that the negatives are objects as well as images.

The negative is not just another picture – it is THE picture. There is an intimate connection between the negative and the subject. Looking at a negative you are looking at an artefact of a time and place. The sun that shone on Abraham Lincoln on that day in 1863 was captured by that negative. All of the positive prints from that negative were made later, probably on a different day and by different sunlight and almost certainly not in the presence of Lincoln. Loengard says of Fox Talbot’s discovery: "It is a quirk of nature that silver and chlorine combine in the dark but separate when struck by light, leaving behind tiny, black, round particles of silver.

The 1st Negative

Talbot asked Lacock’s village carpenter to make up a few small wooden boxes to which he could insert his microscope lenses. These cameras, dubbed ‘Mousetraps’ by Talbot’s wife Constance, due to their size and shape, were the cameras through which he was finally able to capture an image.

On a sunny day in August, 1835 he aimed a mousetrap camera at the latticed window in the South Gallery of Lacock Abbey and in a few minutes he had made the world’s first photographic negative.

Three of the original ‘Mousetrap Cameras’ have been loaned to the museum by the National Media Museum. It is their first visit to their original home of Lacock Abbey in more than 75 years.

There will also be examples of the most important negative processes on display and an explanation of how they were made and how each was a technological advance in the history of photography. Roger Watson, curator of the Fox Talbot Museum says: "This is a really important and exciting celebration for us at Lacock. The negative is the primary image. It is the sensitive surface that faced the subject and first recorded the light. All positive prints are secondary images derived from the negative and are therefore one step removed from the original scene. The negative was the eye witness and the positive print the story related after the fact."

In August a recreation of the first photographic negative using Talbot’s original formula and methodology in a new mousetrap camera made by Mark Ellis, a carpenter who currently lives in Lacock will be re-enacted. Present at this re-enactment will be Talbot’s great-great granddaughter Janet Burnett Brown."

Participants at a (fully subscribed) workshop in August entitled ‘The Dawn of Photography’ will recreate all of Talbot’s earliest photographic experiments including working with modern replicas of the mousetrap camera. They will be working in and around Lacock Abbey and there will be staff members to answer questions about what they are doing.

Lacock Abbey

3 July-12 December 2010

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Poster collection goes on Flickr

The Poster Collection at PARC is in the process of being uploaded to Flickr. The archive holds over 300 posters dating from 1974, mostly of photographic exhibitions, from small independent galleries including Half Moon Gallery, Impressions Gallery, Cockpit Gallery Holborn to The Photographers Gallery and large institutions such as Tate, V&A Museum and the National Portrait Gallery and is a fascinating resource. This is an ongoing process with 75 images of posters already uploaded so keep checking as more go online...


Belinda May,
Exhibitions Intern at Photography and the Archive Research Centre
London College of Communication
Elephant And Castle, London

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Ikon presents Seeing the Unseen, a revisit of the gallery’s 1976 exhibition of high-speed photographs by the pioneering American scientist and photographer Dr Harold E. Edgerton (1906-1990). Forming part of Ikon’s retrospective of the 1970s It Could Happen To You, this presentation takes place in Birmingham’s Pallasades Shopping Centre, in a shop unit just a few doors away from Ikon’s home during that decade.

The 1976 exhibition formed Edgerton’s first solo presentation in Europe, and was conceived as a collaborative effort between Geoffrey Holt and John R. Myers, then both lecturers in fine art and photography at Stourbridge College of Art. Their aim was to draw attention to the breadth of work created by of ‘one of the masters of the optical unconscious’ which had, until that point, been largely neglected by the art world.

Edgerton’s invention in the 1930s of a high-speed photographic process based on rapid, stroboscopic instances of light or ‘flash’ was a catalytic event in the history of photography, science and art. Using this method, his images revealed in great detail aspects of reality hitherto invisible to the naked eye. As Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Edgerton made great strides in reconnaissance photography during the Second World War and later became the first to photograph test explosions of atomic weaponry. It is, however, the hands-on experimentation of ‘real world’ phenomena for which he is best remembered.

Edgerton’s remarkable multiple-flash pictures of tennis players, golfers and divers such as Swirls and Eddies of a Tennis Stroke (1939) break down intricate movements into singular moments. Other images appear to stop time: Milk-Drop Coronet (1957) illustrates the perfect crown formed by a drop of milk hitting a hard surface, whilst Cutting the Card Quickly (1964) shows a .30 calibre bullet, travelling 2800 feet per second, slicing a king of diamonds into two pieces. The startling Bullet and Apple (1964) portrays the explosion of an apple pierced by the bullet, moments before its total disintegration.

Edgerton’s film Seeing the Unseen (1939) is shown alongside his photographs plus an archive of correspondence, technical papers and printed materials relating to the 1976 exhibition.

This exhibition is organised in collaboration with Birmingham Central Library.

21 July – 5 September 2010

Unit 39-40, The Pallasades Shopping Centre, Birmingham


Stopping Time in Stourbridge

Sunday 8 August, 2pm – FREE

The Pallasades Shopping Centre

Pete James, Head of Photography, Central Library Birmingham talks about the Pallasades exhibition and the photo-historical context through which Ikon’s 1976 Harold E. Edgerton exhibition came about. Refreshments are provided. Places are free but should be reserved by calling Ikon on 0121 248 0708.

Aspects of Edgerton

Sunday 22 August, 2pm - FREE

The Pallasades Shopping Centre

An event with Jonathan Shaw, photographer and Associate Head of Media & Communication, Coventry University and artist Trevor Appleson. The speakers discuss the influence of Edwaerd Muybridge and Harold Edgerton’s photography on their recent work. Refreshments are provided. Places are free but should be reserved by calling Ikon on 0121 248 0708.

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