fenton (3)

PHRC photohistory websites upgrade

12201184291?profile=originalThank you to all of you who answered our survey last year, of the Photographic History Research Centre's digital resources for photographic history. The time you took to answer our survey has been invaluable in assessing the range of users and research on these sites. It has also been gratifying to hear your messages of thanks, which have been passed on to those who originally created them.

I'm pleased to announce that we will be undertaking a security upgrade to safeguard the following sites for the future (in no particular order):







DMU is committed to open access research, and the IT department (ITMS) is supporting PHRC's mission to make open research resources  for  photographic history. In the coming months there may be some disruption to the websites that you normally use. We hope that these interruptions will be short, and will not inconvenience you greatly. However, in the knowledge that there will be some inevitable down time, I would encourage all researchers who have time-sensitive projects not to delay any use they need to make of these sites. Work will begin very soon.

Again, Many thanks for all your efforts.

Kelley Wilder

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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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12200893089?profile=originalCulture Minister, Margaret Hodge, has placed a temporary export bar on a rare photograph by the pioneering nineteenth-century British photographer Roger Fenton. This will provide a last chance to raise the money to keep the photograph, titled Pasha and Bayadère, in this country.

The Minister’s ruling follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, administered by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). The Committee recommended that the export decision be deferred on the grounds that the photograph is of outstanding aesthetic importance and of outstanding significance for the study of the history of photography.

Roger Fenton (1819-69) was a highly-regarded British photographer and one of the first- ever war photographers.

Best known for his images of the Crimean War, he also produced landscapes, portraits, still-lives and tableaux vivants during a career which only lasted just over a decade. Pasha and Bayadère was created in 1858 as part of a series of about fifty Orientalist photographs inspired by Fenton’s expedition to the Crimea. These were an expression of a general craze for all things oriental that can be seen in European art in the second half of the nineteenth century and reflected the Victorian fascination with the ‘exotic’ Middle East. In the photo, staged in his London studio, Fenton himself appears as the ‘Pasha’ (a Turkish military or civil official), watching a bayadère, or dancing girl, perform. The role of the musician is played by the English landscape painter Frank Dillon.

The photograph is one of only two examples of this image, the other being in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The Getty’s version is uncropped and believed to be a proof, making this version, cropped for exhibition, in a sense unique. It was not intended to be a documentary image of daily life in Turkey or Egypt, but a fantasy about what the Orient stood for. Fenton’s aim was to marry the Orientalist subject matter popular in painting of the period with the new medium of photography to create a work of high art. Regarded as one of the best in his Orientalist series, and one of Fenton’s best works overall, Pasha and Bayadère is technically highly accomplished, with a strong composition and beautiful lighting.

Lord Inglewood, Chairman of the Reviewing Committee, said: “Photography is sometimes undervalued in this country, but Pasha and Bayadère demonstrates how the best photographs can hold their own aesthetically against other art forms. As well as being a remarkable image, the work is also important for the study of the history of photography. The fact that the Getty Museum chose to make their own version of this image the subject of a scholarly monograph shows just how highly Fenton’s work is regarded outside the UK.”

The decision on the export licence application for the photograph will be deferred for a period ending on 1 May 2010 inclusive. This period may be extended until 1 August 2010 inclusive if a serious intention to raise funds with a view to making an offer to purchase the photograph at the recommended price of £108,506 is expressed.

Anyone interested in making an offer to purchase the photograph should contact the owner’s agent through:

The Secretary
The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest
Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
Wellcome Wolfson Building
165 Queen’s Gate
South Kensington
Telephone 020 7273 8270

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