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Brian May: Book Signing

12200924466?profile=originalTo celebrate his pioneering 3D photography exhibition, A Village Lost and Found, Brian May will be visiting the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) in Bristol. Don't miss this chance to meet the artist and have your copy of the accompanying book signed by the man himself. (Including all your Queen CDs, vinyl, DVDs, tee-shirts, guitars, rock memorabilia etc - just joking!)
The book will be available from the RWA shop, priced £35, for signing on 26th January 2012 from 4pm to 5.30pm, and details of the exhibition can be found here.

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12200926882?profile=originalThe West Dunbartonshire Heritage Centres will be organising a series of events for their Photography Month in January which will include talks on one of the most extensive collection of Scottish road transport images in private hands, the Clyde Shipyard Photography of John Edward Kerr Smith, as well as an introduction to 19th century photography.

All events can be found in the January listings in the Events section of BPH.

Photo: Copyright: John Edward Kerr Smith

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PHRC free seminar programme: Spring 2012

De Montfort University's Photographic History Research Centre's free seminar programme for Spring 2012 has been announced: 


Spring 2012


Tuesdays 4 – 6pm

Edith Murphy Building 5.15

De Montfort University, Leicester

January 17th

Simon Fleury (Victoria and Albert Museum)

‘Positive Negative: a work in progress'

 February 14th

Dr Kris Juncker (Photographic History Research Centre, DMU)

‘Photographs of the Crossroads: Afro-Cuban Spiritism before the Revolution’

 March 6th

Beatriz Pichel (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

‘Death that matters: Bodies and Masculinity in French Photography during the First World War’


All welcome, no need to book, just turn up.

Any queries, please contact the convener: Dr Kelley Wilder, Photographic History Research Centre (

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1892 Tower Bridge photographs rediscovered

12200930094?profile=originalA previously unknown cache of of photographs showing the construction of London's Tower Bridge in 1892 has been discovered the Mail online reports. The unique pictures, dating back to 1892, document the construction the iconic bridge, which at the time was a landmark feat of engineering nicknamed ‘The Wonder Bridge’.

The discarded pictures, which were retrieved by a caretaker who was looking after a building being turned into flats in 2006, have spent the last five years in a carrier bag underneath his bed.

For the full report see:

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Janet Burnett Brown

Janet Mary Burnett Brown the great, great, granddaughter of William Henry Fox Talbot and the last of the Talbot family to live at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, Talbot's home  died peacefully on Wednesday 14th December 2011, aged 84. The funeral service will take place at St Cyriac's, Lacock on Thursday 29 December at 2.30pm. No flowers but donations to St Cyriac's Church, Lacock PCC.

The Times newspaper carried a death notice on 21 December. 

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Delhi: Early Photography in the Capital

12200923071?profile=originalThe Delhi Government this week launched their official calendar for 2012, and it features 12 photographs taken during the early era of photography.

Entitled “Delhi: Early Photography in the Capital”, it showcases photographs captured by local, State and European photographers, including Bourne, Shepherd & Vernon and Co. who travelled to the city over a 100 years ago.

All images featured are from the Alkazi Collection of Photography, and they depict the Lat of stone pillar and ruins of the Palace (1860), the Jama Masjid from the North Delhi (1865), Chandni Chowk (1865), Sunehari Masjid (1890), Chandni Chowk Bazaar (1865), Jama Masjid from Red Fort (1911), the Begum of Bhopal in 1911, Delhi Darbar, their Majesties entering the Fort 1911, Darbar Light Railway, Tis Hazari Station 1911-12, crowd at Jama Masjid 1903, the Coronation Darbar 1911 and the Kingsway 1911.

One for the Christmas stocking .....

Photo: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit releasing the calendar in Delhi this week. Photo:Sandeep Saxena.

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Ooh La La .......

12200925481?profile=originalA collection of explicit mid-19th century daguerreotypes — among the first known nude photographs — sold for well above their estimates, with prices of up to 24,000 euros, at a major auction of erotica in Paris yesterday. According to the auction house, E.E.E. Leroy, the works collected from around the world are a testament to the universal and timeless nature of erotica. They were sold to a mixture of French and foreign bidders, many of them from Asia.

You can view the lots here, but you have been warned that the catalogue for sale was 18-rated!  So, not for the faint-hearted! 

Now, where did I keep my collection .......

Photo: Daguerreotype enhanced stereo erotic color of a young nude woman kneeling front right arm raised. Attributed to Bruno Braquenié (home GUOIN) Towards 1854-1856 8.5 x 17.4 cm. Provenance: Former collection Nazarieff. Estimated 10,000-12000 Euros.

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12200930088?profile=originalThe Minneapolis Institute of Arts seeks a creative, dynamic, and experienced Assistant/Associate Curator in the Department of Photography and New Media. Reporting to the Department Head, the curator is responsible for the care, research, exhibition, and study of over 11,500 photographs and media works in the collection. The curator will also have the unique opportunity to organize annual exhibitions in two gallery spaces and to develop an innovative series of collection catalogs.

The ideal candidate possesses an in-depth knowledge of the history of photography combined with a broad understanding of modern art, history, and culture; is an adventurous risk-taker who does not fear experimentation, and who enjoys challenging curatorial conventions and proposing ambitious projects. The successful candidate will be a congenial colleague who is open to new ideas and comfortable collaborating with curators, scholars, and artists from a variety of disciplines; thinks strategically and creatively about engaging diverse audiences through insightful scholarship, installation design, text, media, programming, and education.

Requirements include: Master's degree in the field of photography, art history or related cultural fields (Ph.D. preferred); proven track record of organizing photography exhibitions and publications on photography and its related histories; at least three years' museum and/or gallery experience; hands-on and historical knowledge of photography's techniques and materials; knowledge of the art market, dealers, galleries, collectors, fellow professionals and other constituents in the field; ability to work independently and coordinate complex projects to completion; ability to write interpretive material for a diverse audience; significant art historical research skills and experience; excellent written and verbal communication and organization skills; team skills and ability to work effectively with staff, trustees and other vital contacts.

Further job description and application information can be found here. Good luck!

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12200929677?profile=originalA hundred and twenty years after G. Eastman launched his Kodak box camera with the slogan ‘You press the button we do the rest’, the sweeping developments in the areas of mobile-phone technology and the Internet have revolutionized amateur image making anew. In this digital universe the means of production, (micro)publishing and displaying of photographs have come to the hands of the people at the largest ever scale, enabling a new culture of making and consuming photographs, and thus breathing new life (and afterlife) into vernacular practices. Although at an institutional level vernacular photographic practices had traditionally been excluded from the official history of photography, and the museum as a consequence, since the mid-90s several large-scale exhibitions have attempted to recontextualize the historical vernacular in the museum.

In recent years the participatory nature of ‘crowdsourcing’ afforded by social media platforms has also captured curators’ imagination, leading to an increasing number of exhibitions that either focus entirely on public-generated photography or accommodate public-contributed photography within a wider exhibition concept. So what makes vernacular imagery so appealing to curators and art museums and institutions today? This session aims to articulate the historical, institutional and curatorial motivations that underpin the integration/ assimilation of such imagery and its mundaneness and renewability in art exhibitions online and onsite. 

The 38th Annual AAH Conference & Bookfair invite academic and practice-based papers that explore current display practices around public-generated photography, the existing tensions between art and nonart artifacts, and the role of public-contributed photography in the formation of more inclusive curatorial narratives.

To be held at The Open University, Milton Keynes from 29th to 31st March 2012, details of the academic sessions, paper submissions, fees, registration etc can be found here.

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Investigating London’s Photographic Archives

12200929076?profile=originalIf you fancy a bit of detective work, then this might be up your street. You can roll up your sleeves and dig deep into the photo archives of the V&ALondon Metropolitan Archives, the Wiener Library, the Royal Anthropological Institute and Magnum Photos with a course from the Photographers’ Gallery, starting in the new year.

This eight-week course (which by the way, will also contribute to Birkbeck College’s World Arts and Artefacts Certificate of Higher Education, and in turn could lead on to undergraduate and postgraduate study in art, humanities and museum studies) will mix site visits with classroom discussion and consider the histories, preservation, use and related issues involved in these fascinating collections.

Details of the Course can be found here or here.

PS. Apparently, the Photographers' Gallery on Ramilies Street is due to re-open in early 2012 - at long last!

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Say Cheese!

12200928494?profile=originalThe Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland which holds millions of images, many dating from the 1800s, have put a call out to the public on Twitter to find out your views on when and why we started smiling in photographs.

Did improved technology and shorter exposure times allow for more informal portraits? Did people become more relaxed with the process of being photographed? Was it a shift in society from the supposedly repressed Victorian era to the more playful Edwardian period? Or, as one tweet has suggested, did the photographers’ jokes just got better?

Have your say here:

Photo: Taken around 1900, this image of playful children at Lennoxlove in Fife shows an obvious depature from the formality and stiff positioning of studio portraits typical of the nineteenth century. This has often been attributed to the change in atmosphere from the Victorian to the Edwardian era, but may simply represent improvements in camera technology and familiarity with the process. DP074331

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Frith's Photo-Pictures - India series


RAYNER, H. (with additonal notes by C. Worswick), Views in Kulu & Spiti Frith's Photo-Pictures - India series, Bath 2011. Soft cover[oblong] 21 x 30 cm. XVII & 48pages 45 photographs. ISBN 9781904289777.

" This book contains the entire Francis Frith & Co. 'Universal Series' of photographs of Kulu and Spiti that were made during late 1869 or early 1870. This set of 45 rare images are amongst the earliest bodies of photography produced of this region, and were originally taken to be marketed as individual prints. They have now all been assembled into one comprehensive work for the first time; with the inclusion of 2 additional, and previously unidentified, images from the series, that were not included in the Frith series catalogue, or widely marketed by them. Finely printed in full colour, nearly all the plates are reproduced here to the same size as the original prints (whole-plate or 61/2x81/2 in.).
It contains previously almost unseen views of the region, its landscape, architecture and people; and is both an important addition to the early photographic history of the Himalayas, and an invaluable pictorial resource for anyone interested in the early history of the Kulu and Spiti areas. "

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MediaSpace budget

The Guardian blog noting Colin Philpott's departure from the National Media Museum in April also quotes the British Journal Photography's freedom of information request: of a draft budget of £4 million, only £405,835 had so far been spent. 

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12200927272?profile=originalColin Philpott is to step down as Director of the National Media Museum in the Spring. He has decided he wants the opportunity to pursue long term and creative projects beyond the National Media Museum which include the publication of a book in Autumn next year. 

Colin has been Director of the National Media Museum since 2004. During this time a number of major festivals, schemes and developments have taken place, including the renaming of the Museum as the National Media Museum, launch of the City of Film with UNESCO, the opening of the state-of-the-artExperience TV gallery and the imminent opening of Life Online - the world’s first museum gallery about the history and impact of the internet which is due to open in March next year.

He said: "I have loved working at the National Media Museum, however I now want to advance my career in other ways. I have a number of creative projects I want to develop and I am looking forward to pursuing other opportunities. I look forward to witnessing the Museum’s continuing success in the future."

Colin’s announcement is part of a reorganisation at the senior levels of the National Museum of Science and Industry (NMSI). NMSI is the parent group to which the National Media Museum belongs, along with the National Railway Museum, the Science Museum and MOSI – the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester – which is to join the group in the New Year.

The reorganisation of the NMSI is focused on further developing closer links with the Science Museum. As a result, there will no longer be a Director-level role at the National Media Museum. A newly created position of Head of the National Media Museum will report into the Deputy Director of the Science Museum. The change is a down-grading of the position within NMSI and had been resisted in the past. 

Ian Blatchford, Director of NMSI said: "Colin has done a fantastic job at the National Media Museum and I thoroughly value his contribution. The new Head of the Museum will continue to work with the NMSI Executive Board and we are fully committed to the development of the National Media Museum in the years ahead."

Colin will be leaving at the end of April once the new Life Online gallery has opened and the new-style Bradford International Film Festival in Partnership with Virgin Media (taking place from 19th -29th of April) has been delivered.

The Guardian is also carrying the story:

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Book: Dickens’s Victorian London 1839-1901

12200928064?profile=originalOr should it be re-named appropriately as Charles Dickens and the dawn of photography?

Next year, or 7th February to be precise, will be Dickens's bicentenary, and he will be celebrated in a big way in the UK -  in print, on screen, on stage, in street festivals and also in exhibitions. One of them, Dickens and London, which opened at the Museum of London last week, is the largest exhibition of its kind and the first major one on Dickens in the UK since 1970.

To accompany this exhibit will be this new book which contains hundreds of images, mostly drawn from the Museum’s archives. There is a remarkable photo by Fox Talbot shot in 1841, and is thought to be the earliest existing photograph of the river Thames. The view is of Westminster, but with no Hungerford Bridge, no Houses of Parliament and no ‘Big Ben’. Only the medieval Abbey and Westminster Hall dominates the skyline. Another good section shows the scars of progress as the early cut-and-cover Underground routes are carved out of Paddington, Blackfriars and Victoria.

The book is by Alex Werner and Tony Williams, and can be purchased from the Museum of London, or you can try the Amazon link on the right.

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12200926862?profile=originalThe Great Exhibition 2012 will capture the true Spirit of Great Britain. With its origins based in the original 1851 Great Exhibition and the Festival of Britain 1951, it highlights and celebrates all that is “Great” about this country.

In 1851 we competed against the world in the exhibition of all nations with Britain as Host Nation In 2012 as the Host Nation for the largest sporting competition in the World and the platform from which the Queen will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, 2012 truly is the year to remind ourselves and rejoice in all that is “Great” about Great Britain in the 21st Century.

This is an opportunity for us to promote our industries, our creative talents, our tourism and the people that make Britain “Great”. By actively encouraging participation online, we are asking people to celebrate all of our British achievements, in addition to the planned celebrations for sports & art that have been announced for 2012.

Fox Talbot, as of today, is only ranked 120th, with only 8 votes!, behind individuals like Pippa Middleston (at 68th!) and Simon Cowell (105th). So, he desperately needs your help. Vote for him here.

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12200923681?profile=originalThe Russian Museum has joined forces with the city’s History of Photography Museum as well as a number of archives and libraries in both St. Petersburg and Moscow to create a journey through the past 150 years, as documented by the country’s most talented photographers.

This new exhibit explores the history of photography as a technological process, and showcases a number of techniques used throughout the history of this art from the middle of the 19th century. Daguerreotypes, prints on silver paper, bromoil prints and early experiments with the use of color are all on show. It showcases 400 incredible prints, including fascinating views of serene city landscapes from the pre-revolutionary era by Karl Bulla, and shots taken by Alexander Chekhov, the elder brother of the writer Anton Chekhov.

Such an exhibition would be unthinkable without featuring Bulla, who is often referred to as the father of photography reporting in Russia. Bulla documented the lives of Russian aristocrats, gentry and merchants, and his vast collection of prints covers the most intricate details of life in St. Petersburg at the start of the 20th century.

The photo biennale embraces all imaginable genres of photography, from portraits and landscapes to chronicles. The oldest items on display are daguerreotypes dating back to the 1840s. In addition to fascinating historical images, the exhibition also showcases various models of cameras and photographic equipment that were in use during the course of the past 150 years. 

Further information can be found here, and details of the exhibition here.

Photo: The artist Vladimir Makovsky, photographed in his workshop by Karl Bulla in 1911, is on show at the biennale.

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