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12200999859?profile=originalA one-day postgraduate symposium is being held on 25 November 2014 in the Photographic History Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester. Photographic Histories of Psychology seeks to explore how photography and psychology have influenced each other throughout their histories. Its aim is twofold: to uncover how psychological notions have informed photographic practices, and to bring into light the historical role that photography has played in the making of psychological knowledge and its public dissemination.

The emergence of psychology as a scientific discipline and the popularization of photography occurred in parallel in the last third of the nineteenth century. Since then, photographs have been used in psychological experiments, and psychological theories of perception have been applied to understand the reception of photography. Whereas much research has been done on these topics, only sparse scholarly literature has attended to other aspects such as the role that photographic images played in the configuration of psychological and psychiatric thinking in the nineteenth century, and the ways in which psychological findings have penetrated into popular culture by means of photography.

Photographic Histories of Psychology will contribute to this scholarship by reflecting on how photographic materials have circulated through scientific and non-scientific contexts. It proposes to analyse the ways in which professional and amateur photography have historically appropriated, negotiated, rejected and disseminated psychological ideas. Rather than focusing on the notion of photographic representation or its meaning, we invite contributors to examine how, for example, psychological definitions of memory have affected the notion of the archive and the family album; how psychological theories on emotions have incited different gestures and expressions in front of the camera; or what role the illustrated press has played in the dissemination or depathologization of psychological disorders. Conversely, the event also seeks to examine how practices such as photographing, collecting photographs, or posing for the camera have penetrated into psychological discourses. How, for instance, particular uses of photography have inspired psychological research into historically specific patterns of behaviour.

Registration now open
registration fee include sandwich lunch, tea and coffee

There are various products available, please make sure to register using the correct category:

* £0: This category is only for PHRC students and symposium speakers
* £10: This category is for De Montfort University students only
* £20: This category is for students of any other institution
* £26: This category is for non-students

Read more and register here:

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12200993660?profile=originalThe two-day symposium aims to reflect on the role and relevance of architectural photography as a form of expression, as historical record and as spatial narrative.  Additionally, the symposium will examine the impact of collecting architectural photographs as well as their preservation and dissemination by means of digitisation, exhibitions and publications. The presentations and discussions will pay tribute to the late Robert Elwall, founder of the RIBA Photographs Collection and a distinguished curator and author whose influential international history of architectural photography Building with Light has given the symposium its title. 

Keynote speakers will include architectural photographers and academics such as Canadian photographer Geoffrey James whose panoramic images of the built landscape explore the relationship between society and its surroundings; Hélène Binet, a Swiss-French architectural photographer based in London and the author of Composing Space: The Photographs of Hélène Binet; Hugh Campbell, Professor of Architecture at University College Dublin; and Iñaki Bergera, a Spanish architect, photographer and theorist.

The symposium’s topics will cover broad research areas such as the historical and contemporary evocation of architectural interiors, buildings, place and landscape; forms of photographic response to genius loci and national identity; the reciprocal influence on and with publishing; and curatorial issues and approaches to architectural photography over time.

For more information and to book tickets visit

Image: Sherborne School Dorset, 1960. © Edwin Smith / RIBA Library Photographs Collection

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Interestingly and coincidentally two current postings: the John Dillwyn Llewelyn album to be sold at Sotheby’s and the Story Maskelyne camera obscura, at Christie’s are connected.

John Dillwyn Llewelyn was the father-in-law of Nevil Story Maskelyne, who had inherited the camera obscura from his grandfather, the Rvd. Nevil Maskelyne, the Astronomer Royal. Before her marriage, Nevil’s wife, Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, assisted her father and became an accomplished photographer in her own right.  Her mother, Emma Thomasina née Talbot, printed Llewelyn’s negatives and Llewelyn’s sister, Mary Dillwyn, too, was a photographer. This family of pioneering women photographers is documented in some detail alongside the featured John Dillwyn Llewelyn in Noel Chanan’s recent biography, The Photographer of Penllergare (I reviewed this last year). Thereza’s surviving diaries and the three volumes of her late memoirs form an important thread in the narrative. Nevil’s meeting with Fox Talbot, his courting of Thereza and his subsequent career are also detailed alongside selective reproductions of his work. For those that missed it first time round a description of the Llewelyn biography and some of its many illustrations can be seen at

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12200996879?profile=originalA call for papers has been made for a workshop organised byProfessor Elizabeth Edwards and Dr Ewa Manikowska and titled: Survey Photography and Cultural Heritage in Europe (1851-1945):  Expanding the Field. The large-scale application of photography to the recording and preservation of cultural heritage is a transnational movement that appeared at a very particular cultural moment. This focuses on the phenomenon of survey photography in the same historical period,  from Britain in the age of High Empire across Europe to the multi-ethnic territories of the western borderlands of the former Russian Empire. While there are striking links between the survey images produced in such distinct cultural and political contexts, there are also similarities and differences in the patterns underlying their production, use, dissemination, impact and the networks of survey actors.  This workshop emerges from the conviction of a need to establish a new research agenda at the intersection of the cultural history, history of photography,  and the concept of national heritage. Thus, the core aims of the workshop are to explore the practices and politics of photographic survey and to indicate and delineate the topics, chronology and methodology of survey photography seen as a European phenomenon (both in its transnational and local aspects) closely linked to the Western concepts of culture, identity and memory.

We invite papers both general and based on specific case-studies from the period between 1851 and 1945, which consider survey and record photography in its wider European context and which contribute to an understanding of its wider definition, analysis and understanding. The workshop will discuss survey photography:

-          as a response to specific historical moments;

-          as a local and transnational phenomenon;

-          as a codification of national heritages;

-          as a scientific and an amateur practice;

-          as a geographical practice;

-          as a response to imperial expansion/consolidation;

-          as definition of group identities through the visualisation of cultural heritage;

-          through its institutions and actors;

-          through its specific photographic practices;

-          through the photographic survey archive;

The workshop will take the form of pre-circulated papers (all papers to be submitted by the end of February 2015). Participants will be asked to use their papers as the basis of a 20 or 30 minute presentation (depending on final schedule) addressing the issues of the workshop.

The number of speakers is limited to 20. Applicants will be notified of the chosen proposals by 30 November 2014. The workshop will take place on 14–15 April 2015 in the Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. Accommodation costs can be covered when necessary.

Survey Photography and Cultural Heritage in Europe (1851-1945):  Expanding the Field

(A workshop organized by Prof. Elizabeth Edwards and Dr. Ewa Manikowska

Warsaw, Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences, 14–15 April 2015)

Abstract of no more than 300 words should be sent by 15 October 2014 to:

Dr Manikowska ( & Professor Edwards (

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12201007472?profile=originalDe Montfort University's Photographic History Research Centre has published its Autumn research seminar programme. All are welcome and there is no need to book, just turn up. Enquriies can be directed to the convener: Professor Elizabeth Edwards, Photographic History Research Centre ( For abstracts check PHRC website or PHRC blog


Autumn 2014

Tuesdays 4 – 6pm   Hugh Aston Building  [check rooms for each seminar]


October 14  (HU 2.31)

Caroline Edge (University of Bolton)

Creating a collaborative Worktown Archive: Mass Observation and mass photography


In 1937 Mass Observation announced their intention to create an ‘anthropology of ourselves’ which would document everyday life in Britain. Photographer Humphrey Spender was recruited to participate in the organisation’s experimental study of Bolton. This lecture examines how his photographs, now held in the Worktown Archive at Bolton Museum, have been documented and reactivated using photographic methods in collaboration with the local community. 


November  11 (HU 2.08)

Dr Louise Purbrick (University of Brighton)

Collodion prints and corrugated iron: photography, materiality and the nitrate trade


On the surface of slag heap in an abandoned nitrate works lies a broken panel of corrugated iron. The nitrate works, Oficina Alianza, is one of many industrial ruins of the Atacama desert of northern Chile, sites once exploited by European speculators who dominated the extraction and export of nitrate, a highly valued ingredient of fertilizers and explosives.  At the height of the trade in late nineteenth century, a photographic album, Oficina Alianza and Port of Iquique 1899, was sent as a ‘souvenir’ to the senior partner of British merchant house Antony Gibbs and Company at his City of London offices by representative of his firm in Chile. It contained around a hundred collodion prints that traces the mining of nitrate, its movement across the desert to Pacific ports and European markets. The album, a material form in its own right, also documents the materials from which nitrate works were constructed: corrugated iron, an industrial colonial architecture that remains characteristic of industrial ruins of northern Chile. These entangled material presences of nitrate trade are examined in this paper as documents of the chemical, industrial and capitalist transformations of a remote desert landscape.


December 9 (HU 2.31)

Professor Maiken Umback and Professor Mathew Humphrey  (University of Nottingham)
Picturing Nature: Photographs (and Non-photographs) Between Political Mobilisation and Ideological Decontestation

Pictorial representations of nature abound, but how, when, and why are images of the natural world used for ideological purposes? In this paper we examine two, apparently conflicting, ideological strategies involving representations of nature – stabilisation and mobilisation. Ideological discourse can utilise nature for the purposes of naturalisation: they link politics with a particular conception of the natural order that reinforces existing belief structures and renders them ‘invisible’. Nature can also be used to mobilise support against existing political arrangements, to disrupt and challenge hegemonic power structures, to critique industrial society, even civilisation itself. As we shall argue, the two can also become paradoxically intertwined.Images play a crucial yet complicated role in such processes. Thus, when and for what purposes those who mobilise nature politically think photography a helpful vehicle, when they consciously abstain from using photographs, and when they reach for alternative genres of visual representations, are questions we explore (though shall not be able to answer definitively) in this paper.

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Publication: William Despard Hemphill

12200998886?profile=originalThe Irish Office of Public Works has published a book on the photographer William Despard Hemphill (1816–1902), a native of Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. The book accompanies an exhibition about Hemphill that is currently touring venues around Ireland. 

A well-respected medical practitioner with a wide range of interests, Dr Hemphill experimented with the latest photographic techniques and won several prestigious awards. At a time when photography was a complex, expensive and sometimes dangerous pursuit, Hemphill was among the first to photograph in detail antiquities such as the Rock of Cashel and Holycross Abbey. He was welcome too in some of the ‘big houses’ around Clonmel where there was considerable interest in amateur photography.

Hemphill’s images – portraits, still life, architecture and scenery – are records of immense historical value. They are also sublime works of art, inviting us to reflect on temporal beauty, artistic rendering and photography as interpretation. A fascinating aspect of Hemphill’s work was his stereoscopic photography.

The illustrated 104 page publication: William Despard Hemphill, Irish Victorian Photographer (Dublin: Office of Public Works, 2014). ISBN 9781406428254) is edited by Dr Karol Mullaney-Dignam, and includes contributions from David H Davison, Richard Comerford and Eric Earle.

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British waxed paper users

I am in the early stages of a project designed to establish a database of British users of Gustave le Gray's waxed paper process in the 1850s and would delighted to hear from collectors and curators who might have contemporary salt or albumen prints from waxed paper negatives in their collections. A low res thumbnail of any image would be a very useful addition.

I am interested in the work of any UK-born photographer who used the process, wherever in the world he or she might have done so. The project is exclusively concerned with users of pre-waxed negatives, and not the many contemporary post-waxed plain paper processes.

Anyone who has such images, or who has questions about the project can contact me at

Thanks, Professor John Hannavy

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12201007065?profile=originalChristie's is to offer a Jones camera obscura associated with Nevil Story-Maskelyn in an auction of Travel and Science on 8 October 2014. It is estimated at £4000-6000. The camera obscura was previously offered by Christie's in 2012 when it sold for £15,000 ($24,180) including buyer's premium and VAT.and in June 1981 when it failed to sell.  Sadly Christie's has only illustrated the device from the back but it is complete with a lens. 

Christie's have described the lot as 'associated' with Nevil Story-Maskelyne when, as was reported on this blog in 2012 it is actually a late eighteenth/very early ninetreenth century camera obscura (the clue is in the ink stamp which refers to 'His Majesty', with Victoria not ascending the throne until 1837). It's first owner was Story Maskelyne's grandfather, the astronomer royal, Nevil Maskelyne (1732-1811), from whom it was passed down.

The previous BPH blog report and discussion can be found here and the lot description for the upcoming auction here. 

Lot Description

Jones, mid-19th century
reflex model, the mahogany body of dovetail construction, with hinged lid, lens in wooden mount and 'push-pull' focusing front section, signed JONES Artist LONDON ; BY HIS MAJESTY'S SPECIAL APPOINTMENT No. 4, Wells Street Oxford Street.   12½in. (32cm.) long


Nevil Story Maskelyne (1823-1911).
Thence by descent.
Christie's South Kensington 25 April 2012, lot 69.

Lot Notes

Nevil Story-Maskelyne (1823-1911) left law for the Natural Sciences in 1847, and was soon lecturing on mineralogy, a field he would come to lead. His research ran from the petrology of Stonehenge to developing the collection of minerals and meteorites at the British Museum into the 'largest and best arranged series ... in existence' (ODNB online). He and his wife Thereza May Llewelyn were both involved in the pioneering of photography. He was close friends of William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-77) -- whose own camera obscura is held at the Science Museum London.

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Website: London photography exhibitions and events

12201004654?profile=originalHemera, a London based curatorial collective specialising in photography, has just launched the London Photography Diary,  a website dedicated to listing photography exhibitions, events, and conferences in London:  The website also features photography related videos, reviews,  and an image sharing portal. Please check it out and join our mailing list to receive our weekly newsletters. The two curators who are editing the site are Sarah Allens and Rachael Graves.

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12200996257?profile=originalThe Derby Telegraph reports  that the Winters studio, Derby, has discovered a cache of previously unknown negatives and is looking for volunteers to helps conserve and digitise them, as it makes its archive available. It notes: Thousands of glass plate negatives are stacked in a cold, damp cellar – but even the staff at Winter's have no idea what is in them. The shop's manager, Angela Leeson, said: "We have managed to archive some of the collection and make sure that it is secure and not going to be damaged by the damp."However, the negatives in the basement are a complete mystery.

Anyone interested in helping to catalogue the archive should e-mail or call 01332 345224.

An open day is taking place at the studio on 13 September 2014. See:

Read more here:

Image: Derby Telegraph

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Auction: J D Llewelyn album

12201005896?profile=originalSotheby's New York is to offer an album of photographs by John Dilwyn Llewelyn from the collection of Paul Walter on 30 September. This album comes originally from the collection of the photographer’s granddaughter, the ‘Mrs. Crichton’ referenced on the title page (née Emma Charlotte Llewelyn).  It was among a rich selection of albums of Llewelyn’s photographs offered at Sotheby’s Belgravia in 1977.

The catalogue text reads: 




an album comprising 51 leaves with mounted photographs, including many views of the Llewelyn Family Estate, Penllergare, and Environs, studies of the Llewelyn Family including several Composite Groups, one with a decorative pen and wash border, numerous Botanical Studies, and many charming Rustic and Scenic Views, albumen prints, most identified in ink on the mount; the title calligraphically inscribed ‘Photographs by J. D. L’ in black and red ink beneath a mounted photographic stag head, and ‘Sir John Dilwyn [sic] Llewelyn, brother to Mrs. Crichton’ in a later hand in ink, 1850s. Small folio, 1/2 red leather, marbled paper boards 

The photographs 8 3/4  by 11 1/4  (22.2 by 28.6 cm.) and smaller



Sotheby’s Belgravia, 1 July 1977, Lot 188


This album comes originally from the collection of the photographer’s granddaughter, the ‘Mrs. Crichton’ referenced on the title page (née Emma Charlotte Llewelyn).  It was among a rich selection of albums of Llewelyn’s photographs offered at Sotheby’s Belgravia in 1977.  John Dillwyn Llewelyn married a cousin of William Henry Fox Talbot, and thus became a member of Talbot’s circle.  He had already experimented with the daguerreotype in the 1840s, and moved on to paper photography, with impressive results, in the 1850s.  The images in this album show, among an array of subjects, many facets of the idyllic Llewelyn family estate in Wales, Penllergare, and its much-celebrated grounds.  Llewelyn was the son of a botanist, and his love of plants, landscaping, and, by extension, the natural world is manifest in this charming album.  Views of nature and plants are complemented by studies of the Llewelyn family and neighbors, including images entitled ‘Gipsies,’ ‘Our School Children,’ and ‘Willy Fishing.’  Also included are Llewelyn’s photographs of neighboring houses, Sketty Hall and Lanelay, and images of local color, including the fully-manned ‘Tenby Lifeboat.’

In addition to his keen aesthetic ability with the camera, Llewelyn was a technical innovator, as well.  An early adopter of the wet-plate process, he overcame the need to sensitize plates on-site through the use of Oxymel, a mixture of honey and vinegar, which kept the plates moist and camera-ready for the duration of a photographic outing.  The 60-odd photographs in this album give ample proof of Llewelyn’s status as one of the most accomplished and broadly-talented photographers of his day.       


See more here:

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Exhibition: Black Chronicles II

12200994296?profile=originalAutograph ABP presents Black Chronicles II, a new exhibition exploring black presences in 19th and early 20th century Britain, through the prism of studio portraiture – continuing its mission of writing black photographic history. 

Drawing on the metaphor of the chronicle the exhibition presents over 200 photographs, the majority of which have never been exhibited or published before. As a curated body of work, these photographs present new knowledge and offer different ways of seeing the black subject in Victorian Britain, and contribute to an ongoing process of redressing persistent ‘absence’ within the historical record.

Many of the images on display have very recently been unearthed as part of our current archive research programme, The Missing Chapter - a three-year project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is the second exhibition in a series dedicated to excavating archives, which began with ‘The Black Chronicles’ in 2011.

Black Chronicles II is a public showcase of Autograph ABP’s commitment to continuous critical enquiry into archive images which have been overlooked, under-researched or simply not recognised as significant previously, but which are highly relevant to black representational politics and cultural history today.

For the first time a comprehensive body of portraits depicting black people prior to the beginning of the second world war are brought together in this exhibition - identified through original research carried out in the holdings of national public archives and by examining privately owned collections. This research also coincides with Autograph ABP’s continuous search for the earliest photographic image of a black person created in the UK.

12200995663?profile=originalAll of the photographs in the exhibition were taken in photographic studios in Britain prior to 1938, with a majority during the latter half of the 19th century. Alongside numerous portraits of unidentified sitters, the exhibition includes original prints of known personalities, such as Sarah Forbes Bonetta, goddaughter to Queen Victoria; Prince Alemayehu, photographed by renowned photographer Julia Margaret Cameron; or Kalulu, African ‘boy servant’ (companion) to the British explorer Henry Morton Stanley. This extensive display of over 100 original carte-de-visite is drawn from several collections, and presented in dialogue with Autograph ABP’s 1996 commission ‘Effnik’ by Yinka Shonibare MBE.

A highlight of the show is a dedicated display of thirty portraits of members of The African Choir, who toured Britain between 1891-93, seen here for the first time. Perhaps the most comprehensive series of images rendering the black subject in Victorian Britain, these extraordinary portraits on glass plate negatives by the London Stereoscopic Company have been deeply buried in the Hulton Archive, unopened for over 120 years. These are presented alongside those of other visiting performers, dignitaries, servicemen, missionaries, students and many as yet unidentified black Britons. Their presence bears direct witness to Britain’s colonial and imperial history and the expansion of Empire.

Black Chronicles II
12 September – 29 November 2014
Rivington Place, London
Admission Free



top: Mussa Bhai, The Salvation Army, 1890. London Stereoscopic Company studios. Courtesy of © Hulton Archive/Getty Images; below: John Xiniwe and Albert Jonas, London Stereoscopic Company studios, 1891. Courtesy of © Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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12200997092?profile=originalThe Royal Photographic Society presented two British curators and photo-historians with awards last night at a ceremony in London. Dr Sophie Gordon, Senior Curator of Photographs at Royal Collection Trust, received the Colin Ford Award which is given to honour an individual who has contributed in a major way to curatorship. She is shown, right, with Colin Ford CBE.

12200997897?profile=originalTerence Pepper OBE HonFRPS received the Society's Award for Outstanding Service to Photography. The award recognises major sustained, outstanding and influential contributions to the advancement of Photography and/or Imaging in their widest meanings. Pepper was Curator of Photographs from 1978 until 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery and is now Senior Special Advisor on Photographs at the Gallery. He is shown with his wofe and curatorial colleagues.

Read more here:

Images: © The Royal Photographic Society / Nick Scott Photography


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12201005486?profile=originalThe next London Photograph Fair takes place on Sunday, 14 September, at the Holiday Inn, Coram St, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1HT from 11am to 4pm. Admission: £5; tickets on the door. For a full exhibitor list and further information go to

Since 1982 the London Photograph Fair has been the meeting place for collectors, enthusiasts, museum curators and dealers on the hunt for original photographs and photobooks. Taking place four times a year in Bloomsbury, near the British Museum and Kings Cross/St Pancras Stations, the fair attracts up to 50 dealers from across the UK, Europe, and further afield.

A great variety of works are on display and for sale, from Vintage Fine Art, Press and Fashion photographs, to Contemporary, Modern and 19th Century rarities. Specialist bookdealers offer a range of original and collectible photobooks as well as reference material. Prices range from a few pounds well into the thousands.

Whether you are an experienced collector or new to the field, you will find a warm and friendly atmosphere and a wealth of specialist knowledge at hand.

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12201002665?profile=originalSotheby’s is to auction a magnificent collection of 31 albums, containing over 2,000 photographs of India and Southeast Asia, assembled by the distinguished Indian art historian, collector, and dealer, Sven Gahlin during the 1960s.Apart from 8 individual photographs which were exhibited at the Photographers’ Gallery in London in 1983, none of the albums have ever been exhibited or seen in public since their acquisition over 40 years ago.

Fine albums of early photographs of India are becoming increasingly scarce at auction, and so it is a wonderful opportunity to view and acquire these images which range in date from the mid-1850s to the early twentieth century. The collection includes beautiful portraits and landscapes by the celebrated photographers Felice Beato, Samuel Bourne, John Burke, Charles Shepherd, Fred Bremner, and Charles Scowen.

12201003265?profile=originalThe albums depict views across India (including Bombay, Calcutta, Arni, Cawnpore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Agra etc.), together with stunning views in the Himalayas and Kashmir. The albums also contain fine images of Ceylon, Burma and Southeast Asia (including Singapore), which were then part of the British Empire.

Many of the albums have notable provenances: four finely bound red leather albums (lots 343-346) are believed to have been commissioned by a member of the Curzon family, and one album (lot 350) came by descent from the family of the celebrated artist William Prinsep to Mr Gahlin. Of particular interest is a set of 9 albums (lots 351-359) which were compiled by Lt. Col. Charles Harbord, 6th baron Suffield. Harbord had the privileged position as aide-de-camp to three successive Viceroys of India: Lord Ripon (1880-1884), Lord Dufferin (1884-1888), and Lord Lansdowne (1888-1894). The Suffield albums cover a period of almost 20 years of service in India and Southeast Asia, at work and at leisure; the photographs include formal group portraits of the Viceroys on official engagements, together with images of leisure, such as polo matches, theatricals, picnics in the mountains, hunting, and riding.

View the catalogue online:

Auction details: 

Art of Imperial India. Photographs of Imperial India and Southeast Asia: The Sven Gahlin Collection 1857 - 1914

12201003485?profile=originalLondon, Wednesday, 8 October 2014, 2.30pm

Exhibition dates: Friday, 3 October 9am-4.30pm; Sunday 5, 12noon-5pm; Monday 6, 9am-4.30pm;  Tuesday 7, 9am-4.30pm

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12201005092?profile=originalA hard-hitting collection of photographs taken by Nick Hedges for Shelter between 1968 and 1972 are to be shown together for the first time in a new exhibition in the Virgin Media Studio, Media Space, London, from 2 October 2014-18 January 2015. 

Commissioned by housing charity Shelter to photograph people living in poor housing conditions, documentary photographer Nick Hedges spent three years travelling areas of deprivation around the UK to create this significant body of work reflecting the often distressing reality of the critical social issue of housing.

Hedges donated 1,000 prints from his Shelter work to the National Media Museum in 1983. However, until now their use has been restricted to protect the privacy of his subjects.

Co-curated by Dutch independent curator Hedy van Erp and the National Media Museum’s Curator of Photographs Greg Hobson, this moving and inspiring set of black and white photographs of real-life situations exemplifies Hedges’ unique position in the practice of documentary photography at the time, which was largely focused on recording conflict and international events.

Hedges’ mission to harness the immediate power of photography to change the way we think about social issues led him to create this stirring collection, and his empathy for his subjects is evidenced through his detailed contemporary notes, extracts of which will appear in the exhibition.

Nick Hedges said: ‘Although these photographs have become historical documents, they serve to remind us that secure and adequate housing is the basis of a civilised urban society. The failure of successive governments to provide for it is a sad mark of society’s inaction. The photographs should allow us to celebrate progress, yet all they can do is haunt us with a sense of failure.’

Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs at the National Media Museum, Bradford said: ‘Hedges’ work is a tremendously important addition to the history of documentary photography in Britain. By making visible the contemporary plight of people living in poverty, he is giving a voice to those that would otherwise remain unheard or be ignored.’

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: ‘Nick’s pictures were crucial to the early days of Shelter’s campaigning, capturing a stark reality that many people in Britain couldn’t even imagine, let alone believe was happening in their community. Many of the scenes that Nick captured are from places that have long since been regenerated, but conditions not a million miles from these exist in our communities even now, with poor housing, sky-high house prices, rogue landlords and a housing safety net that’s being cut to shreds leading three million people to turn to Shelter each year. It’s nearly fifty years since these pictures were taken and the Shelter journey began; I truly hope in another fifty years our journey will have long been completed and that bad housing and homelessness will be a thing of the past, rather than a challenge for our future.’

Make Life Worth Living: Nick Hedges’ Photographs for Shelter, 1968-72 will run from 2 October 2014 to 18 January 2015 in the Virgin Media Studio, Media Space, Science Museum, London. Full details of the exhibition and its events programme can be found at Entrance free.

Image: 'Mrs T and her family of 5 lived in a decaying terraced house owned by a steelworks. She had no gas, no electricity, no hot water, no bathroom. Her cooking was done on the fire in the living room. Sheffield, May 1969'
© Nick Hedges / National Media Museum, Bradford

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12201001899?profile=originalThe Royal Photographic Society's Historical Group has announced an essay prize for younger photographic historians. The competition has been funded to promote interest in the history of photography amongst students and researchers and is open to anyone who will be aged under 25 years on 28 February 2015. 

See more at:

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