All Posts (28)

Sort by

12200966686?profile=originalThis book is the first extensive survey of early Chinese photographers in any language. It is profusely illustrated with more than 400 photographs, many of which are published here for the first time, including a fine selection of Foochow landscapes from the studios of Lai Fong, China’s leading photographer during this period, and Tung Hing.

Early chapters introduce the historical milieu from which the earliest Chinese photographers emerged and illuminate the beginnings of photography in China and contemporary Chinese reactions to its introduction. Early Chinese commercial photography – both portrait and landscape – are also discussed with reference to similar genres in a more international context. Individual chapters are devoted to Chinese photographers in Peking, Hong Kong, Canton, Shanghai, Foochow, Amoy, Hankow, Tientsin and other ports, Macau and Formosa. These are followed by a series of appendices: writings on photography in China by John Thomson and Isaac Taylor Headland and an invaluable guide to the identification of photographs from the Afong Studio. It concludes with an extensive bibliography, general and regional chronologies, and a biographical index. Combining existing knowledge of the subject with a mass of new research material, this major work also introduces and identifies the work of a number of previously forgotten or overlooked Chinese masters. It includes the work of: Chow Kwa (Su Sanxin), Hing Qua John & Co., Jiu San & E Fong, Kai Sack, Kung Tai, Lai Chong, Lai Fong, Liang Shitai (See Tay), Luo Yuanyou, Man Foc, Pow Kee, Pun Lun, Sang Cheong, Tung Hing, Wo Cheong, Ye Chung and many others.

This book completes a three-volume series on the photographic history of China until the late 19th century and will prompt a re-evaluation and heightened appreciation of these early Chinese photographers. You can pick up a copy on this linkhere.

ISBN: 978-0-9563012-4-6

To be published by Bernard Quaritch Ltd., London, May 2013

Read more…

12200963688?profile=originalBarbara Flueckiger, Professor, University of Zurich writes...I'm very excited to launch my new Timeline of Historical Film Colors today: With many scans from vintage prints, downloads, quotes, filmographies etc.  

The new concept allows researchers, archivists, film historians, and film restoration experts to insert texts, images, links, or downloads directly, so that the database will grow steadily. Since its online publication one year ago more than 20.000 visitors from 120 countries have accessed the database. I have received an overwhelming response from all over the world.

Half of the web development was covered by my crowd-funding campaign I doubled this amount with my private means. Very recently, the University of Zurich and Swiss National Science Foundation have supported the data management with a significant contribution. I would like to thank all of you for your generous support, and I'm looking forward to receiving your feedback.

And please spread the word...

Barbara Flückiger

Read more…

12200966265?profile=originalPhotography is widely associated with truthfulness yet it has also been employed throughout its history as a means of telling stories and evoking the imaginary. This display includes photographs by some of the most influential contemporary artists working in this vein, such as Gregory Crewdson, Duane Michals and Cindy Sherman, alongside examples by 19th-century practitioners including Julia Margaret Cameron, Clementina Lady Hawarden and Oscar Gustav Rejlander.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


Image: Untitled - May 1997, Hannah Starkey, 1997, Museum no. E.491-1998. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London / Hannah Starkey

Read more…

I wonder if any of you are aware of the existence of Francis Frith inventory lists of photographs in their stock from Indonesia (the Dutch East Indies) from the second half of the19th century?  If so, where can they be found please?

There are several Indonesian views that have been attributed to Francis Frith (the photographs are probably by one of his photographers rather than by Frith himself) and I wonder how reliable those attributions are?  Also how many photographs of Indonesia did Frith publish?  I assume he must have published lists of his inventory?? 

My particular focus is 19th century photography in Indonesia.  My two books are: "BATAVIA in Nineteenth Century Photographs" (2000) and "Greetings from JAKARTA: Postcards of a Capital 1900-1950" (2012).

Thanking you in advance for any information you are able to provide.

Kind regards,

Scott Merrillees


Read more…

12200964875?profile=originalEuropean travellers to the East were fascinated, particularly in the nineteenth century, with the lights, colours, and the different way of living. The newness of the environment they encountered inspired artists, writers and photographers and deeply impacted European art history. The Orient was seen as a far exotic land and from that dream the field of Orientalism came to be. The creations born by this fascination are not only representations of the ‘Orient’ summarised by the expression  ‘Orientalism’, but the patterns and subjects also became a source of inspiration for artists in their own creations.

This panel will explore the fascinating journeys of European artists travelling through the lights and images of the Orient creating art that was both a fascination and a representation. This complex attraction, which goes beyond the question of Orientalism, has been the subject of renewed cultural and curatorial approaches over the last 30 years. The Louvre Abu Dhabi collection already reflects this more historically accurate vision and the discussion will introduce us to a different interpretation of the ‘Orient’ including a painting by Paul Klee and nineteenth century photographs from the museum collection. The diversity of the photography collection will be presented from the early technique of daguerreotype and the fascinating testimony of French photographer Girault de Prangey to the fantasy world imagined by British photographer Roger Fenton in his London studio. This will be a starting point for exploring the ways in which Orientalist art is perceived, appropriated and re-contextualised in the Arab world today.  The long term impact of these ‘realistic’ images can still be found today in the contemporary Arab world, for example in the public display of the Sharjah Art Museum, the Orientalist Art Collection of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

Looking East from West: Orientalist Art and Photography will take place at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, May 29 from 6.45pm. Details can be found here.

* This panel is presented as part of the Louvre Abu Dhabi: Talking Art Series.

Read more…

12200964089?profile=originalIn France, around 1860, from the loins of a traditional national fascination with all things diabolical, was born a new sensation – a series of visionary dioramas depicting life in a strange parallel universe called ENFER – Hell – communicated to an eager audience by means of stereoscopic cards, to be viewed in the stereoscopes which had already become popular in the 1850s.

The definitive book - both of illustrations and research is now available for pre-order and is due for release on 10 October 2013. Diableries, Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell from Brian May, Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming.


Read more…

12200962290?profile=originalJohn Stauffer is co-editing a book, Picturing Frederick Douglass:  The Most Photographed American in the Nineteenth Century. He has discovered that there are more separate poses of Douglass than of Lincoln and of other contemporaries (not counting, for example Twain, who was a generation younger).  

In his search through archives there is a black hole in the British Isles.  So far he has not found a single photograph of Douglass in British archives. This is strange as Douglass sat for his photograph whenever he could, and was beloved by the British during his stays in 1845-47, 1859-60, and during brief subsequent visits.  

He would welcome news of any images made by British studios. 

ContactJohn Stauffer, Professor of English, History of American Civilization and African and African American Studies, Harvard University. Tel: +1 617-642-7108 (cell) or email:

and post a comment here.


Read more…

12200961861?profile=originalIn a landmark partnership, Impressions Gallery is depositing its archive with the National Media Museum. It will become part of the National Photography Collection, where it will be titled as  'Impressions Gallery Archive' and receive the highest standards of collections management. It is believed to be the first time a publicly funded photography gallery will have its archive cared for and made accessible by a national institution. It joins The Royal Photographic Society Collection and other notable collections housed and managed by the museum. 

Impressions Gallery, one of the oldest and most respected venues for contemporary photography in Europe, has accumulated an unrivalled collection of archival materials and photographic work since its inception in 1972. The aim of the partnership with National Media Museum is to make this rich period of British photographic exhibiting history available to curators, scholars, photographers and the wider public.

The National Media Museum is home to 3.5 million items of historical significance including one of the finest photographic collections in the world.  With an active programme of collections management, exhibitions, loans to peer institutions and an international reputation, the National Media Museum is the ideal partner to continue and develop the Impressions Gallery’s collection for the future, and make it available to the public.

Impressions Gallery is known for its directional role in the photography world, recognising and supporting photographers in the early stages of their careers such as Martin Parr, whose first show was staged at the gallery in 1972. Impressions has consistently set critical agendas by commissioning and showing work that addresses (sometimes controversial) issues of politics, race, gender and identity. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the gallery was the first in the UK to show photographic work responding to the AIDS crisis, and led the field in showing new work using then-emerging technologies of video and digital media.

Director of Impressions Gallery Anne McNeill said, ‘Impressions Gallery has played an incisive role in expanding people’s perceptions and understanding of photography. To coincide with achieving our milestone 40th anniversary, we are delighted to realise the next steps in the development and long term preservation of our archival materials’.

Jo Quinton-Tulloch, Head of National Media Museum said, ‘Naturally, the Museum is thrilled to be able to secure such an important archive and collection of photography – one which not only records and evidences the considerable contribution of Impressions Gallery over the past 40 years and counting, but which also further enhances the National Photography Collection’

This is the second major collaboration for the two Bradford-based photography venues, following the successful launch of the inaugural photography festival Ways of Looking in 2011. The Chairman of Impressions Gallery Board of Trustees Darryn Hedges said, ‘This exciting project demonstrates Impressions’ ongoing commitment to making Bradford known as the UK destination for photography’.

The museum has not yet commented upon whether opening hours at its Insight facility will be extended to support the likely interest in the Impressions archive or whether it will expand its curatorial staff to support access to the material and facilitate the 'highest standards' of collections management. The museum has lost curatorial staff in recent months and opening hours at Insight have been reduced in recent years limiting access to researchers. 

Read more…

Charlotte Cotton and members of Ph: The Photography Research Network will discuss ideas emerging out of Either/And ( , a collaboration between the National Media Museum and Ph.

Either/And has been devised as an online framework in which to debate and share perspectives on photography’s place in contemporary culture. Commissioned essays, interviews, images and films are published on the website on a weekly basis, which serve as the catalyst for online public discussion. Material from the project will form the basis of a printed publication next year.

This Research Seminar has been scheduled to mark the half-way point in the tenure of Ph as Guest Editors of Either/And. It will provide an opportunity for Either/And contributors past, present and future to consider the conditions of photography today.

Charlotte Cotton is a curator and writer. Previously held positions include Creative Director of Media Space, Director of the Wallis Anneberg Department of Photographs, LACMA and Curator of Photographs at the Victorian and Albert Museum. She is the author of The Photograph as Contemporary Art (2004) and founder of Words Without Pictures (2009-9) and (2012-3).

Ph: The Photography Research Network was established in 2010 as an inter-disciplinary research forum for early career scholars working in the field of photography. Ph currently consists of more than thirty researchers drawn from twenty UK universities. It was initially funded by the AHRC as part of its Beyond Text scheme. See

Thursday 6 June 2013 

18.00, Research Forum South Room, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN


Read more…

12200969864?profile=originalBath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution is exhibiting prints of some of the Reverend Francis Lockey’s photographs, taken between 1849 and 1861, at the Central Library, Bath, between the 20-25 May.

Copies of Shadows and Light. Bath in Camera 1849-1861. Early Rare Photographs, compiled by David McLaughlin and Michael Gray will be on sale.

For more on Lockey see:

Image: Weirs south of Argyle Bridge, Bath ca.1853-61.

Read more…

12200961081?profile=originalThe announcement today of the acquisition by the Ashmolean Museum of John Everett Millais’s celebrated portrait of John Ruskin at Glenfinlas marks a final chapter in the history of a painting intimately associated with one of Ruskin’s pupils, the photographer Sarah Angelina Acland. Lent and bequeathed by Ruskin to Miss Acland’s father, Henry Wentworth Acland, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford, for three decades the portrait hung above Miss Acland’s writing desk in her home opposite the Sheldonian Theatre. The painting also served as a subject for her experiments in orthochromatic photography in the late 1890s, which she pursued in the spirit of the Pre-Raphaelites, whom she knew as a child.

Read more

Read more…

12200969887?profile=originalA priceless archive of golf photography covering the development of golf from the 19th century onwards, which includes the extensive golf photography archives of the Lawrence Levy collection and the collections of Scottish photographer George Cowie, is to benefit from the support of the Mission Hills Golf Group in China.

Mission Hills is strengthening its ties with St Andrew's by committing a six-figure sum to support the 600th anniversary celebrations of the university (founded in 1413), as well as the development of these special collections.

The full news article can be found here.

Read more…

A group of 18 photographs of China by Felice Beato taken in 1860 was sold for £218,500 on the 14th May 2013 at Sotheby's London in the sale of Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History. The collection included a magnificent 6-part panorama of Beijing, the first ever taken showing the interior of the city. The price is believed to be an auction record for a group of photographs by Beato. Link: Sotheby's catalogue 

Read more…

An album of 71 albumen prints by John Thomson of Swatow (Shantou), Amoy (Xiamen) and Formosa (Taiwan) sold for £134,500 at Sotheby's London on 14th May 2013 in a sale of Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History. The album had been purchased from Thomson by Dr Edward Irwin Scott (1846-1914), who ran a medical practice with his brother Dr Charles Scott in Swatow. The album included a presentation inscription by Dr Edward Scott to his mother-in-law dated 8th March 1874. Link here: Sotheby's catalogue

Read more…

ENLARGING PICTURES FROM SMALL PHOTOGRAPHS. -On the evening of October 7, the members of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held a soiree at the Guildhall, Cambridge, which was numerously and fashionably attended.

During the evening, M. Claudet exhibited pictures enlarged from small photographs. After having read on Monday, in Section A, a paper on the means of rendering more accurate the measurement of the distances which regulate the enlargement of small photographs by the solar camera, M. Claudet exhibited last night a number of cartes de visite enlarged by the solar camera, showing the great perfection of proportion and the natural expression which may be imparted to portraits when they are taken in a very short sitting, and with apparatus placed at a proper distance from the persons, as is the case for small pictures.

M. Claudet, in order to show the working of the solar camera, had brought from London and placed in a room adjoining  the great hall all the apparatus employed for the enlargement of photographs. Although, of course, unable to produce photographic pictures without the light of the sun, he employed artificial light to throw on a white screen the enlarged photographs, which was sufficient to illustrate the principle of the process. M. Claudet exhibited in this manner pictures of persons enlarged to the size of nature, and some considerably larger from small cartes de visite. The effect was very striking and beautiful.

He also exhibited some photographs, taken by the Comte de Montizon, of all the most curious animals of the Zoological Gardens, and some views of Java, taken by Messrs Negretti and Zambra, with instantaneous views of Paris by Ferrier, showing the boulevards full of carriages and people, as they are in the middle of the day.

One of the principal objects of M. Claudet was to explain how it is possible to trace or draw with pencil on the canvas those enlarged portraits when they are to be painted, and for this purpose how it is even more advantageous to apply the colours not on a surface containing the chemical substances of photographic pictures, but on the usual medium employed by artists without the black shadows forming the delineation of photographs. Several portraits as large as nature drawn by this means and painted on canvas may, we believe, be seen at the International Exhibition in the space allotted to M. Claudet in the British Department of Photographs. These portraits show the advantage of this process, and afford reason to hope that it may be one of the most, useful applications of photography.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW, Australia) Saturday 27 December 1862 page 5

Read more…

12200959690?profile=originalA photograph album compiled by Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), one of the greatest photographers that Britain has ever produced, has had a temporary export bar placed on it to provide a last chance to raise the £121,250 needed to keep it in the UK. The album was sold at Sotheby's on 12 December 2012 (see:

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey took the decision to defer granting an export licence for the photo album following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by Arts Council England, on the grounds that it was of outstanding significance for the study of 19th century photography, and particularly that of Julia Margaret Cameron.

This album (known as the Signor 1857 album) is the earliest of eight recorded photographic albums assembled by Cameron in the period before she took up photography herself. Almost certainly compiled as a gift for her friend, the artist George Frederic Watts, the album anticipated the photographs she would later make with her own camera, mixing images of the famous with the familial to create a celebration of art, photography, family and friendship.

It contains 35 works by several different photographers, some of whose significance to the development of photography in the 19th century is increasingly being recognised, and is an important example of how photographs were embedded within avant-garde art-making of the day. In addition, it is a pivotal piece of evidence in explaining how Cameron, a middle-aged woman with no previous experience of visual art-making, became one of the most celebrated of photographers and illustrates Cameron’s increasing interest in the relationship between the fine arts and photography.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: "I sincerely hope that a UK buyer can be found for the Signor 1857 Album. It still holds many secrets and keeping it in the UK would allow further detailed study in the lead up to the bi-centenary of this incredibly talented photographer’s birth."

The decision on the export licence application for the photo album will be deferred for a period ending on 8 July 2013 inclusive. This period may be extended until 8 October 2013 inclusive if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the photo album is made at the recommended price of £121,250.

Organisations or individuals interested in purchasing the photo album should contact RCEWA on 0845 300 6200.

Read more…

12200968884?profile=originalNoel Chanan’s latest hardcover, The Photographer of Penllergare - a life of John Dillwyn Llewelyn 1810 to 1882, is an in-depth, richly illustrated and forensically researched hardcover book. Llewelyn was married to a cousin of William Henry Fox Talbot, the British inventor of photography, and consequently became an inspired pioneer of photography from the 1850s. In addition to being an accomplished photographer, he was a highly productive polymath, benevolent landowner and a driving force in social and economic change around him in South Wales and London. Far from being a mere coffee table book, the scholarly endeavour employed to enrich the images and narrative, results in a rewardingly revealing history with oft times touching tales of sadness and joy.

The book has been published

Read more…

12200967495?profile=originalThe Daguerreian Society will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in Bry-sur-Marne and Paris between 9-14 October 2013. Speakers include: Dr Dusan Stulik, Professor François Brunet, Dominique de Font-Réaulx, D.E.A., and Herman Maes, Daguerreobase Project.

The City of Bry, and its Mayor Jean-Pierre Spilbauer, have invited members of the Daguerreian Society (and interested friends) to witness the results of a six-year restoration project bringing Daguerre's last surviving Diorama painting back to life. The Diorama is a large-scale painting with illusionary effects that seem to magically transform the small church in Bry into a cathedral.

Other events include the first exhibition of photographs ever held in Daguerre's mansion in Bry. This exhibit features more than 70 American portrait daguerreotypes from the collection of Daguerreian Society member Wm. B. Becker, Director of the online American Museum of Photography. The exhibition in Daguerre's mansion continues at the Musée Gatien-Bonnet in the nearby city of Lagny-sur-Marne. Here, images from the daguerreotype period and later works through the year 1900 show the evolution of portrait photography in America.

All details are at:

Read more…

IOM Photographic Society: Happy 75th!

12200968660?profile=originalThe Isle of Man Photographic Society is celebrating its 75th anniversary with an exhibition at the House of Manannan in Peel from Saturday 18 May 2013 to Sunday 4 August 2013. 
Jointly curated by Manx National Heritage and the Isle of Man Photographic Society, the exhibition will feature works by the society’s members together with vintage cameras and photographic equipment. There will also be a mock darkroom and a studio set out as a Victorian drawing room to serve as a backdrop for visitors to take their own photographs.
The exhibition will be supported by a series of special events including professional photography workshops hosted by leading Isle of Man photographer Andrew Barton LBIPP LMPA. For full details on the exhibition and workshops visit, via Andrew Barton on Facebook at Andrew-Barton-Photography or via

Check out too the JM Nicholson "Recording his World with a Camera' in the Events section.

Read more…

12200967073?profile=originalIn 1862 Albert, Prince of Wales, toured the Middle East. At the time it was still predominantly controlled by the Ottoman Empire. As he travelled, his photographer Francis Bedford kept a detailed photographic record of the trip. In this series John McCarthy revisits the scenes of Bedford's photographs - Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Greece. He considers how the immediate physical, political and social landscape has evolved during the intervening 150 years.

Some of Bedford's photographs are of widely known locations - the Pyramids at Giza, the Mount of Olives, the temples at Baalbek, the Acropolis - others are of remote hilltops and apparently random buildings, scenes without any obvious significance. Both however hold fascinating and unexpected tales and insight.

The series will reflect on the rise and fall of empires - the Ottoman, British and French all play their part in these stories. They are now all gone, but the world's powers still seek to influence the politics of the region.

This radio series coincides with a major exhibition of Bedford's photographs by the Royal Collection, currently showing at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Presenter: John McCarthy, the programme also features Dr Sophie Gordon, curator of photographs from the Royal Collection. 

See: The programme will be available on the BBC iPlayer after transmission. 

Read more…

Blog Topics by Tags

Monthly Archives