All Posts (22)

Sort by

12200964480?profile=originalThe sad news has reached BPH that Professor Margaret Harker Farrand died on 16 February 2013 aged 93. According to Margaret's solicitor she was 'ready to go'. The funeral will take place at 11am on Monday, 11 March, at St Bartholomew Church, Egdean, near Pulborough, East Sussex, RH20 1JU

Margaret  was a respected architectural and commercial photographer, a photographic historian and author, an educator at the Regent Street Poly (now the University of Westminster) where she became a Professor and important to The Royal Photographic Society and its collection over many years. She joined The Society in 1941 and became its first woman President serving 1958-60.  

Margaret was also active with the Institute of British Photographers, now the BIPP, the European Society for the History of Photography and many other bodies. 

A fuller obituary will be published here shortly.  

The RPS has published an obituary here: and an extensive obituary will appear in The Society's April Journal.

Images: right Margaret Harker, 1952. Courtesy the archive of Dr S D Jouhar FRPS FPSA; below: with RPS Presidents c.1960


Read more…

London Photograph Fair - March 10th


The next London Photograph Fair takes place on March 10th and will feature 45 dealers from the UK, Europe and North America.

Our latest newsletter has just been published and can be read HERE - it includes full details on the  March Fair and how to obtain free 'Book Fair Week' tickets for June, which offer free entry to a number of events that month - including the London Photograph Fair and the ABA London International Antiquarian Book Fair.

At the March 10th Fair, Bonhams will be previewing selected items from their Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs sale on March 19th. The catalogue includes a rare and newly discovered collection by the enigmatic and pioneering Victorian female photographer, Lady Clemintina Hawarden. The collection includes 37 albumen prints by Lady Hawarden, a pair of pencil sketches of her and her husband, and 15 associated albumen prints (est. £100,000-150,000).

Read more…

12200963256?profile=originalOn Wednesday, 6 March Professor Ute Eskildsen, former Director and Head of Photography at Museum Folkwang, Essen, will explore the documentary aspects of the Krupp archive and trace how certain images were used and distributed. Close inspection of such photographs reveals that they are never simple documents of industrial interests alone.

Drawing on the rich industrial heritage of the Ruhr Valley, with its obvious parallels with the industrialisation of the south Wales valleys, this lecture forms part of a series accompanying a project by Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales to work on its rich and diverse historic photographic collections – a project made possible through a major gift from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Ute Eskildsen was until recently Acting Director and Head of Photography at the Museum Folkwang, Essen.See:

In partnership with the eCPR, at University of Wales Newport, the lecture series will reflect the exciting work that Amgueddfa Cymru is undertaking from 2012 to 2015.

For further partner details visit:

Wednesday, 6 March 2013 at 5.45pm

The event is FREE but booking is essential as places are limited. To reserve your place, please email: with your name and contact telephone number.

Image: Wheel tyres being moved by hand, Krupp Works Essen, 28. Oct. 1899. Courtesy of Historisches Archiv Krupp, Essen

Read more…

Worktown Photographs of Humphrey Spender

12200961464?profile=originalI heard about this interesting photographic archive on the radio today.  Perhaps the images are not quite as old as many of the photographs discussed here but nevertheless this collection of photographs of life in Bolton just before the Second World War is fascinating.

All of these pictures were taken by Humphrey Spender as part of the first Mass Observation project which was called Worktown by it's founders.

You can view the collection on-line at In my view its well worth a little of your time.

Image: Humphrey Spender, Working Man’s Hair Specialist - September 23, 1937, Copyright Bolton Council, Image ref. 1993.83.01.25. Print ref. INV:20016

Read more…

12200959300?profile=originalDr Anthony H Cooper writes...The British Geological Survey National Archive of Geological Photographs “GeoScenic” is online, but may not be a resource that members have come across. The collection includes over 50,000 photographs dating back to around 1850 with around 30,000 GeoScience images and 20,000 special collection images. They can be searched using subject browsing, or the advanced search that allows date ranges to be specified. There is also a map browser for geographically located images. Many of the geological photographs are records of the landscape and industry dating from the present back to the late 18th Century.

It can be accessed at: and images 1000 x 1000px may be downloaded without charge for non-commercial use. 

Of particular interest to British Photographic History are the special collections, many of which have been donated to the Survey and are listed below with the number of photographs in each shown in parentheses. Included among them are the collection of Survey staff photographs includes many notable geologists, amongst them: John Phillips, T.H.Huxley, Sir Robert Impey Muchision, Sir Archibold Geike and Henry Thomas De La Beche. The Leeds Cave Club collection charts early underground exploration while the Teale collection of photographs illustrate the Africa of the 1900-1930’s as encountered by some of the first geologists to survey those parts.

I highlight this collection to the membership and suggest that perhaps a link to the National Archive of Geological Photographs could be added to the quick resources listing.

Special collections:

•                Dr. R. Kidston Carboniferous fossil plants (3618)

•                H.W. Haywood, Leeds Cave Club (633)

•                British Science Association (BAAS) (6936)

•                Vesuvius - historical images (37)

•                Henry Mowbray Cadell archives (532)

•                1936 Royal Society expedition to Montserrat - The A.G. MacGregor archive (338)

•                W.J. Reynolds Collection (181)

•                Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn Street, London. c1855 -1900. GSM.MG.E.5 (45)

•                Survey staff photographs. Geological Survey and Museum and Royal School of Mines, 1850-1910. IGS1.639 (138)

•                J.V. Stephens Italy collection taken during the Second World War (170)

•                Mount Etna eruption 1892 (9)

•                F.W. Harmer collection, East Anglia (45)

•                George Scott Johnstone collection - Scottish mountains (1893)

•                E.O. Teale photograph collection 1900s-1930s (mostly Africa) (421)

Image: W. Norrie, Ross of Mull (looking through Nun's Cave), 1890

Read more…

12200960458?profile=originalThe London Stereoscopic Company has launched the first set of facsimile French Diableries cards…..with more to come.  The scenes depicted in these Diableries were made in clay, on a table-top, with amazing skill, by a small bunch of gifted sculptors, and then photographed with a stereo camera. The resulting stereo pair of prints was made on thin albumen paper, and water-colours were applied - not to the front surface, as in the case of normal stereo cards - but to the back of the prints. The eyes of each skeleton were then pricked out with a sharp instrument, and small pieces of red gel, or blobs of reddened varnish, were applied to the back of the pricked holes. Behind this pair of prints was added a layer of tissue paper, which hid the 'works' to the rear surface of the view. The print and the backing tissue were then mounted together, sandwiched between two cardboard frames - each with twin cut-out 'windows' for the prints, and the whole was glued together to make a French Tissue stereo card.

The cards, called 'Diableries' (which translates roughly as 'Devilments') depict a whole imaginary underworld, populated by devils, satyrs and skeletons which are very much alive and, for the most part, having fun. The cards are works of art in themselves, and are known as FRENCH TISSUES, constructed in a special way to enable them to be viewed (in a stereoscope) illuminated from the front, for a normal 'day' appearance in monochrome, or illuminated from the back, transforming the view into a 'night' scene, in which hidden colours magically appear, and the eyes of the skeletons leap out in red, in a most macabre way!

These facsimile cards, loving restored and created by Brian May – where does he find the time? – are quite magical, even down to the glowing red eyes which glint menacingly in the light.

For further details and how to order the cards and accompanying “Owl” stereoscope, see the London Stereoscopic Company website


Read more…

Conference: Photohistory at iCHSTM 2013

12200959458?profile=originalThe 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine (iCHSTM 2013), to be held in Manchester, UK from Sunday 21 to Sunday 28 July, contains a number of sessions dealing with photography and science within an historical context. Registration is now open. Go to <> and follow the link to open the registration form. Registration will be available at the early discounted rate until Sunday 14 April, and at a higher rate until Monday 1 July, which is the final deadline.

The first draft listing of of pre-arranged symposia, including individual abstracts for around 1100 papers, is now available and can be seen at

The strand Visual Sciences includes: 

S042. Practising photography in the sciences
Symposium organisers
Geoffrey BELKNAP | Harvard University, United States
Kelley WILDER | De Montfort University, United Kingdom

Session A
Chair: Sadiah QURESHI | University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Commentary: Sadiah QURESHI | University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Session B
Chair: Elizabeth EDWARDS | De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom
Kelley WILDER | De Montfort University, United Kingdom
Commentary: Elizabeth EDWARDS | De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom
Symposium abstract

‘Photography at work in the sciences’ trains the debates about visualization on the very compelling medium of photography. The symposia pulls together scholarship from Science and Technology Studies, Anthropology, Art history, Photography and History of Science to analyze what happens to science when scientists produce, consume and disseminate photographic materials. Photography has often been presented as a benign, objective recording technique without agency that fits itself seamlessly to the purposes of sciences, and thus it has often been overlooked in more complex modeling of scientists’ behavior, and in the investigation of the concepts of observation and experiment. As a subject within scientific visualization, photography has also taken a smaller role than drawing, although from 1870 to 1960 it insinuated itself slowly into every aspect of modern science, from experiments and observations that are wholly dependent on a photographic method, through to the publication and exhibition of scientific results. Far from being merely an illustrative mechanism, photography plays an active role in forming scientific research questions, in defining scientific discovery and even in the very definition of some scientific disciplines. Yet we know very little about the role of photographers, photographic materials and industries in scientific practice, and there has been only sporadic concentration on the way in which visualizing with photography differs from visualizing with other media. The key questions of this symposia will be: how were photographs used to put knowledge to work; what are photographs’ boundaries?; and how do they help define discovery? We will interrogate these questions by looking at the transitional period of 1870-1960 with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the situated contexts of the use of photography in the sciences, as well as how this use changed over time. In ‘Photography at work in the sciences’, we will take stock of the current state of research, evaluate research methodologies developed in heretofore disparate fields, and generate research questions for this nascent, fast growing area of study.

Read more…

This talk seeks to probe and extend our current understanding of the relation between photography and ubiquity. One of the ways in which we understand this relation is through digitization and debates on new or digital media concerned with the proliferation of photography in public and private life. Another way is through the assimilation, if not of photography then of the photographic, in the discourses and practices of ubiquitous computing. Professor Kember will explore what is at stake in the shift from a sense that photography is everywhere to a sense that the photographic is ‘everyware’ (Greenfield), meaning, ‘ever more pervasive, ever harder to perceive’.

Sarah Kember is Professor of New Technologies of Communication, Goldsmiths, University of London. She works at the intersection of new media and feminist science and technology studies. Professor Kember co-edits the journal photographies and is the author (with Joanna Zylinska), most recently, of Life After New Media. Mediation as a Vital Process, (MIT Press, 2012).

The History of Photography research seminar series aims to be a discursive platform for the discussion and dissemination of current research on photography.  From art as photography and early photographic technology to ethnographic photographs and contemporary photography as art, the seminar welcomes contributions from researchers across the board, whether independent or affiliated with museums, galleries, archives, libraries or higher education, and endeavors to provide scholars with a challenging opportunity to present work in progress and test out new ideas.

The seminars usually take place once a term, on Wednesday evenings at 5.30pm in the Research Forum. The papers, and formal discussion, are followed by informal discussion and refreshments.

Further information here: 

Open to all, free admission 

Read more…
Studio MB, the Edinburgh-based design agency, has announced that it has won a National Media Museum's contract, in conjunction with Seven Stories in Newcastle, to create a temporary exhibition that will appear in both locations. The exhibition, entitled 'Moving Stories' will show the magic and wonder of children's books including Alice in Wonderland, Tin Tin and The Borrowers and explore the imaginations of their authors and how the written word and illustrations are brought to life through popular TV and blockbuster films. It will open in both locations from July 2013.
The design agency specialises in interpretative and exhibition design. See:
Read more…

Identification of daguerreotype portraits

12200966658?profile=originalRecently aquired a couple portraits of this woman. Being half plates, and a (reported) history of interest. I was hoping someone in this group might be able to recognize her.

Reportedly she was involved or related to -  British/India Tea production in the Tezpur region of India. Believed to be the wife of Dr. Christian Anding of Assam area.

Any help would be appreciated.12200966658?profile=original

Read more…

12200965884?profile=originalOur ability to see and record live events from right across the world has shrunk the globe, making virtual neighbours of us all. It is a defining characteristic of our modern world. The final episode in the series reveals the fascinating stories that made such everyday miracles possible. It tells the story of the handful of extraordinary inventions and their inventors who tackled the complexities of chemistry and electronics and discovered how to capture and reproduce still and moving images.

Michael Mosley and academics Prof Mark Miodownik and Dr Cassie Newland tell the amazing story of three of the greatest and most transformative inventions of all time - photography, moving pictures and television.

The experts explain how these inventions came about by sparks of inventive genius and steady incremental improvements hammered out in workshops and studios. They separate myth from reality in the lives of the great inventors and celebrate some of the most remarkable stories in British history.

The programme includes filming at Lacock Abbey and Richard Cynan-Jones who made a calotype of host Michael Mosley. 

Broadcast on 14 February and available on the BBC iPlayer here

Read more…

Job: Conservator, National Media Museum

12200894665?profile=originalThe Science Museum Group is world renowned for its historic collections, awe-inspiring galleries and inspirational exhibitions. The National Media Museum is part of this group with collections embracing photography, film, television, radio and the web. It aims to engage, inspire and educate through comprehensive collections, innovative education programmes and contemporary issues.
The National Media Museum is seeking a skilled and enthusiastic Conservator to provide high quality interventive and preventive conservation for the NMeM collections. The post holder will be based at the National Media Museum in Bradford and will support our exhibitions and loans programme. You will be part of the team of conservators working across SMG’s museums and sites.
Required Skills:
Your recognised conservation qualification, or comparable experience, will be supported by demonstrable skills in interventive and preventive museum conservation on a wide range of paper and photographic materials.

You will be able to supervise volunteers and conservation interns and provide advice and support to colleagues working within the Collections and Exhibitions teams. The role will also participate in the safe management of hazards within the collections, complying with current H&S regulations and in-house policies and safe working practices.

You will have excellent interpersonal skills and be confident communicating with a wide range of people. You will have demonstrable skills in problem solving and prioritising, which will be supported by your previous experience within a museum or cultural heritage environment. You will be able to demonstrate the ability to plan and execute your own work programmes, provide statistics and promote high conservation and collections care standards.
Application Instructions:

For further information about the National Media Museum, a full job description and details of how to apply, please visit

Salary: £21,302 - £23,343 per annum
Job reference: CON/NMeM/JAN13

Closing date: 22 February 2013
Interviews: week commencing 04 March 2013

Read more…

Frederick Evans Papers

I am looking for anyone who knows what might have happened to the paper archives and/or photograph collections of Frederick Evans.  I know that many images in his collection went to the Royal Photographic Society and are now in Bradford and some of the images ended up at the George Eastman House.   But I know that he owned some images that I have been unable to track down.  I was wondering if perhaps they were still with the family or if a particular dealer/collector/institution has a substantial collection that I am unaware of.  I am interested primarily in his collection of prints by other artists and his correspondence with F. Holland Day.  Any leads or contacts would be appreciated.

Read more…

12200965288?profile=originalOn October 31 2013 IRPA-KIK organises a conference on management and conservation of photographic collections. Many institutions (museums, libraries, archives, etc.) that have photographic collections are facing problems concerning their management: storage, inventory, digitalization, access, copyright issues, status and value attached to the collection 

The conference offers professionals who are confronted with these problems an occasion to develop a practical and ethical framework for the conservation of photographic collections.

If you would like to present a paper on one of the diverse topics concerning this theme, you can send your proposal to IRPA-KIK before March 31 2013.

Main colloquium topics

  • Collections care and management
    • (Preventive) conservation
    • Risk management
    • Storage for photographic collections
  • Access
    • Copyright
    • Digitization
    • Exhibition
  • The status of the image
  • Advocacy


The principal language of the conference will be English, but papers in French will also be welcome.

More information: see conference website:

Read more…

Auction: Lady Hawarden photographs

12200964279?profile=originalAn important collection of 37 albumen prints by Clemintina Maud, Lady Hawarden, a pair of pencil sketches of her and her husband, and 15 associated albumen prints (several possibly by Lady Hawarden), [c.1857-1864] will be sold at Bonhams on March 19 for an estimated £100,000-150,000.

The sale of this exceptional collection by one of the most important and influential Victorian fine art photographers is a rare event in this market. The images are derived from a single album, the vast majority not represented in the Victoria & Albert Museum's collection.

Born Clementina Elphinstone Fleeming in Dunbartonshire in 1822, she was the third of five children of a British father, Admiral Charles Elphinstone Fleeming (1774-1840), and a Spanish mother, Catalina Paulina Alessandro (1800-1880). In 1845 she married Cornwallis Maude, an Officer in the Life Guards. In 1856 Maude's father, Viscount Hawarden, died and his title, and considerable wealth, passed to Cornwallis.

The surviving photographs suggest that Clementina, now Lady Hawarden, began to take photographs on the Hawarden's Irish estate at Dundrum, Co. Tipperary, from late 1857. Many of these were taken with a stereoscopic camera, and the present collection contains several Dundrum images which are one of the pair that comprise a stereoscopic image.

In 1859 the family also acquired a new London home at 5 Princes Gardens (much of the square survives as built, but No. 5 has gone). From 1862 onwards Lady Hawarden used the entire first floor of the property as a studio, within which she kept a few props, many of which have come to be synonymous with her work: gossamer curtains, a free standing mirror, a small chest of drawers and the iconic 'empire star' wallpaper, as seen in several of these photographs. The superior aspect of the studio can also go some way to account for Hawarden's sophisticated, subtle and pioneering use of natural light in her images.

It was also here that Lady Hawarden focused upon taking photographs of her eldest daughters, Isabella Grace, Clementina, and Florence Elizabeth, whom she would often dress up in costume tableau. The girls were frequently shot - often in romantic and sensual poses - in pairs, or, if alone, with a mirror or with their back to the camera. Hawarden's photographic exploration of identity, otherness, the doppelgänger and female sexuality, as expressed in the vast majority of these photographs, was incredibly progressive when considered in relation to her contemporaries, most notably Julia Margaret Cameron. As Graham Ovenden comments in Clementina Lady Hawarden (1974), "Clementina Hawarden struck out into areas and depicted moods unknown to the art photographers of her age. Her vision of languidly tranquil ladies carefully dressed and posed in a symbolist light is at opposite poles from Mrs Cameron's images...her work...constitutes a unique document within nineteenth-century photography."

She exhibited, and won silver medals, in the 1863 and 1864 exhibitions of the Photographic Society, and was admired by both Oscar Rejlander, and Lewis Carroll who acquired five images which went into the Gernsheim Collection and are now in Texas. In 1865 Lady Hawarden died, and although her loss was regretted in the photographic journals, her work was soon forgotten.

In 1939 her granddaughter presented the V&A with 779 photographs, most of which had been roughly torn from their original albums with significant losses to corners. Proper examination, and appreciation of this gift, was delayed by World War Two, and it was not until the 1980s that detailed appraisal and catalogue of the V&A holdings. This comprises almost the entire body of Hawarden's surviving work apart from the five images now in Texas, and small groups or single images at Bradford, Musée d'Orsay and the Getty. The appearance of the present collection is totally unexpected, and represents a remarkable opportunity to obtain images (most of which appear not to be duplicated elsewhere) by a photographer whose work is otherwise unobtainable.

Like those in the V&A, most of the present images have been removed from an album, but, remarkably, with very little loss: only one image is missing a corner, making this collection all the more exceptional. Some smaller images are arranged on album leaves that are still intact (measuring 322 x 235mm). As distinct from the V&A's holdings, it is presumed that these images have been taken from an album which may have belonged to one of the sitters or their siblings. The most significant group in the present collection are all approximately 198 x 144mm. and tend to depict one figure in the first floor front room at 5 Princes Gardens. Curiously there are no images of this size in the V&A collection, but the presence of close variant images in a smaller format suggests that Lady Hawarden was using two cameras in the same session. The V&A collection has a variant pose of image number 5 (below), but in the smaller format [PH.457:564-1968].

Provenance: Purchased in the 1960s, and believed to have connections to the Saltmarshe family of Saltmarshe (East Riding).

Read more…

12200962890?profile=originalAt an event this morning to preview a selection of prints from the National Media Museum Photography Collection Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum, confirmed a change to the previously announced opening exhibition and date for Media Space.

The public opening of Media Space will take place on Saturday, 21 September 2013 and the opening exhibition will be Tony Ray-Jones based on his archive held at the National Media Museum, Bradford. The show is being curated by Greg Hobson of the museum and the Magnum photographer Martin Parr.

Media Space is a joint project between the National Media Museum and the Science Museum. See: BPH passim. 

Michael G Wilson OBE, chair of the Science Museum Foundation, spoke about the development of Media Space over twenty-five years and how London was the ‘last major city to bring photography to the public’. He commented that the addition of ‘the Royal Photographic Society Collection made us a world class photography collection’. Wilson's own important role in realising the original National Media Museum 'London presence', now Media Space, was acknowledged warmly by Blatchford.  

The Media Space space on the third floor of the Science Museum in London is currently in the hands of the contractors as it undergoes refurbishment and works prior to the September opening.

12200963278?profile=originalIn further National Media Museum news Michael Terwey has been appointed Head of Exhibitions and Collections, an important new role created as part of the museum restructuring. Terwey was previously acting Deputy Director and Head of Public Programme and, between 2010 and 2011, Exhibitions & Displays Manager at the museum. 

Images: Top: Michael G Wilson OBE (left) and Ian Blatchford (right). Lower: the Science Museum reception. © Michael Pritchard

For another view on Media Space from Francis Hodgson see:

Read more…

Me, Man Ray and a dead Proust

On The Graham Harrison blog ...

Me, Man Ray and a dead Proust

For the critics Man Ray’s best work was his photography, especially his nudes and portraits. In 1975 Graham Harrison asked the ageing surrealist if he could take a portrait of his own but was only allowed a long-shot across a gallery. The result was an image Harrison felt uneasy about, until recently.

Read more…

12200961685?profile=originalRay Harryhausen is known to most of today’s filmmakers as the man who ‘made the impossible possible’. As the influential pioneer of dimensional stop-motion model animation, he helped to create a unique genre of fantasy films that remain a benchmark and inspiration. We are now seeking an equally imaginative, innovative and creative Collections Manager who will act as an advocate for the Collection and manage its acquisition, particularly during its transfer from private ownership into the public domain.

Working closely with the Head of Collections, Projects the Curator & Archivist of the Harryhausen Collection and the Trustees of the Harryhausen Foundation, you will play a major role in shaping the Collection’s management, interpretation and use. You will research, develop and deliver high quality content for a range of public outputs ,using innovative communication techniques. You will know how to engage and excite different audiences, possess a visitor-focused approach and a commitment to delivering world-class displays and events. You’ll develop solid relationships with experts and stakeholders, film and media professionals, academics and the public to ensure the on-going delivery of ideas and projects which help manage the Collection, and utilise it to its maximum potential, offering life-enhancing experiences to a wide range of visitors.

Of graduate calibre in a media-related subject, you will have strong curatorial skills with a critical awareness of film or a related subject area. You will also have demonstrable working experience of developing exhibitions, websites or events relating to film animation or an associated discipline; collections management expertise including handling and assessing 2D and 3D objects; the ability to catalogue work to the highest professional standards; and relevant research experience.

Part of the Science Museum Group of museums, the National Media Museum aims to engage, inspire and educate through comprehensive collections, innovative education programmes and a powerful yet sensitive approach to contemporary issues. Please note that this role will be based in London where you will be required to work at the home of the Harryhausen Collection’s owners; therefore sensitive interpersonal skills will be essential to your success.

Job Description:

Collections Manager, Ray Harryhausen Collection

National Media Museum, based: London

Salary: £22,970

Application Instructions:

For further information and to apply, please visit:

Closing date: 8th February

Read more about the collection and the museum's role here

Read more…

Blog Topics by Tags

Monthly Archives