British photographic history

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Trivia: Name the photo society that objected to semi-nude females & about to celebrate its 150th

The Edinburgh Photograph Society (EPS) was set up in 1861 (two other societies, the earliest in the world, were founded a few years previously, both also in Scotland) after the 1851 Great Exhibition in London prompted interest in the subject, and the society will next month mark its 150th birthday with a civic reception at Edinburgh City Chambers.

The EPS started out as the Photographic Society of Scotland, founded under the patronage of Prince Albert. However, a number of members found the group too formal and objected to the decision to exclude a particular photograph (‘Two Ways of Life’ by the Swedish fine art photographer, Oscar G Rejlander) from an exhibition because it featured semi-nude females.

The group began to meet informally, then in 1861 in a room behind a watchmaker's shop on South Bridge they established the Edinburgh Photographic Society. The society still meets for a weekly lecture on Wednesday nights, just as it has done for the past 150 years, though the subject matter has changed somewhat. Early lecture titles include A new tent for photographic purposes mounted on a wheelbarrow (1865) and Cycling with the camera (1886).

You can read the EPS's full history here, and a news article here.



Photo:  Members of the sixth Annual Photographic Convention of the United Kingdom held in Edinburgh in 1892.

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