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12201010494?profile=originalBBC Radio 3's The Essay is running a series of five programmes each evening between 16-20 February 2015 at 2245, under the banner of 'The Five Photographs that (you didn't know) changed Everything'. The photographs being discussed are not generally found in the history books; they are not generally art; and the photographers who made them are not generally known beyond a small coterie of photographic historians.

The five photographs discussed in this series of essays changed the way we see ourselves and our place in the world. They had an enormous impact in the fields of medicine, architecture, astronomy, law and cultural history. The series has been supported and developed in association with De Montfort University's Photographic History Research Centre and The Royal Photographic Society

The programmes, with their provisional transmission dates are:

Monday 16th February.

1. A woman’s left hand.  Kelley Wilder on the x-ray that changed medicine.

The photograph of Anna Bertha Ludwig Rontgens left hand taken in 1896 astounded the scientific world and alarmed the public. For the scientists it signalled the beginning of medical radiography. For the public it gave rise to fears about intrusion and privacy in much the same way as  the introduction of the TSA  body scanner did in 2007. From medical imaging to airport security, Kelley Wilder shows how  x-ray photography changed the world.

Kelley Wilder is Reader in Photographic History,  De Montfort University, Leicester

Tuesday 17th February.

2.  . Draper’s Nebula. Omar Nassim on  how a photo of space changed our view of the universe and our place within it.

Today high-resolution  photographs of nebulae or galaxies saturate our culture to such an extent that they are almost kitsch. But  when Henry Draper took the very first pictures  of a nebula in 1880 it was one of the greatest achievements of photography.  Omar Nasim tells the story of how this photograph defied the imagination and raised questions not just about the size of the universe but about the very origins of humanity.

Omar Nasim is lecturer in the School of History at the University of Kent.

Wednesday 18th February.

3. . The Dogon.  Jeanne Haffner on how aerial photography changed the spaces we live in. The  birds-eye photograph of the Dogon tribe working their fields in Mali was taken by the French Africanist Marcel Griaule.   He’d trained in aerial photography during the first world war and he argued that the Dogon landscape, seen from the air, revealed the patterns and  secrets of the lives of its inhabitants, patterns which could teach Western city planners and architects how to build  a happier society. 

Jeanne Haffner is lecturer in the Department of History and Science at Harvard University.

Thursday 19th February.

4. The Broom cottages. Elizabeth Edwards on the photo that changed the way we see ourselves.

The man who took the photo, W. Jerome Harrison, launched a scheme for recording the country’s past in which amateur photographers up and down the land took pictures of the buildings which were important  them. Wiki-buildings and English Heritage do this now on a much grander scale. But Elizabeth Edwards argues that the mass participation of people  in defining what matters  about the past began  with Harrison, and changed the way in which a nation viewed  itself. 

Elizabeth Edwards is Research Professor of Photographic History and Director of the Photographic History Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester

Friday 20th February.

5. The Tichbourne Claimant. Jennifer Tucker on the photo that changed the law.

In 1863 a butcher sat for his photograph in the remote town of Wagga Wagga, Australia. Three years later this likeness had Britain transfixed.   Jennifer tucker tells the story of  how it was central to the longest legal battle in 19th century England,  and  sparked  a debate about evidence, the law, ethics and facial recognition that has continued ever since. 

Jennifer Tucker is Associate Professor of History and Science in Society at Wesleyan University, USA

The programmes will be available on the BBC iPlayer after transmission.

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12201006290?profile=originalThis is the first exhibition in Britain devoted to salted paper prints, one of the earliest forms of photography. A uniquely British invention, unveiled by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839, salt prints spread across the globe, creating a new visual language of the modern moment.

This revolutionary technique transformed subjects from still lifes, portraits, landscapes and scenes of daily life into images with their own specific aesthetic: a soft, luxurious effect particular to this photographic process.

The few salt prints that survive are seldom seen due to their fragility, and so this exhibition, a collaboration with the Wilson Centre for Photography, is a singular opportunity to see the rarest and best early photographs of this type in the world.

Organised in collaboration with the Wilson Centre for Photography.

Curated by Carol Jacobi, Curator of British Art 1850–1915, Simon Baker, Curator, Photography International Art, Caroline Corbeau-Parsons, Assistant Curator 1850-1915 and Hannah Lyons, Assistant Curator 1850–1915.

Salt and Silver: Early Photography 1840 – 1860

Tate Britain: Exhibition
25 February – 7 June 2015

Adult £12.00 (without donation £10.90)
Concession £10.50 (without donation £9.50)

See more here.

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12201009479?profile=originalThis exhibition traces the evolution of photography, as a scientific process, as a social record and a medium for artistic expression. The photographic material on display dates from the mid-19th to mid-20th century and shows how the history of photography relates to our own collections and the visual history of Wales.

Discover the story of the Dillwyn Llewelyn family who were based at the Penllergare estate near Swansea in the mid-19th century. Their pioneering experiments in the new medium created astonishing images of the south Wales landscape and of their family life and social activities.

Part of the display will also look at how photographic processes actually work, exploring the chemistry behind the images. You will also be able to view a wider selection of the images now digitised as part of the project, via the on-line database which will be available in the gallery.

The project of digitising historic photographs and the research of the subjects in these images has been generously funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. 

National Museum Cardiff
24 January-19 April 2015


Related events and activities

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12201003482?profile=originalNext month the V&A will present a display of over 50 recently acquired photographs that explore the experiences of black people in Britain in the latter half of the 20th century, enhanced by excerpts from oral histories gathered by Black Cultural Archives.

Over the last seven years the V&A has been working with Black Cultural Archives to acquire photographs either by black photographers or which document the lives of black people in Britain, a previously under-represented area in the V&A’s photographs collection. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Museum has been able to collect 118 works by 17 artists ranging from Yinka Shonibare’s large-scale series Diary of a Victorian Dandy (1998), to studies of elaborate headties worn by Nigerian women, by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, to black and white street photography of 1970s London by Al Vandenberg.

Staying Power will showcase a variety of photographic responses to black British experience. On display will be intimate portrayals of British-Caribbean life in London in the 1960s-70s by Neil Kenlock, Armet Francis, Dennis Morris and Charlie Phillips. Music, style and fashion are documented in Raphael Albert’s depictions of the black beauty pageants he organised from the 1960s to the 1980s to help celebrate the growing black community in Britain and Norman ‘Normski’ Anderson’s colourful depictions of vibrant youth culture of the 1980s and 90s.

The display also features more conceptual explorations of race and identity. Yinka Shonibare’s series, Diary of a Victorian Dandy, depicts the artist playing the role of a dandy. The work demonstrates Shonibare’s identification with the dandy as an outsider or foreigner who uses his flamboyance, wit and style to penetrate the highest levels of society, which would otherwise be closed to him. Maxine Walker also draws attention to racial stereotypes by photographing herself in a variety of guises. In her Untitled series (1995) she presents herself with different skin tones and hairstyles as though they were instantaneous transformations made in a photo booth.

To complement the photographs, Black Cultural Archives have collected oral histories from a range of subjects including the photographers themselves, their relatives, and the people depicted in the images. To coincide with the display at the V&A, Black Cultural Archives will also present an exhibition drawn from the V&A’s Staying Power collection (15 January-30 June 2015) at their heritage centre in Brixton.

Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s
16 February – 24 May 2015


Image: High Street Kensington, 1976, © Al Vandenberg

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12201012859?profile=originalThe Manfred & Hanna Heiting Fund enables the Rijksmuseum to annually award two postgraduate fellowships that stimulate photo-historical research by prospective curators from the Netherlands or abroad. The research is based on the National Photo Collection held by the Rijksmuseum’s Print Room. It will form the basis for an essay on classical photography pertaining to original works from the Rijksmuseum’s rich holdings of photographic works and, where possible, to objects in other collections.    

The Rijksmuseum Research Fellowship Programme

As part of the Rijksmuseum Research Fellowship Programme, the Manfred & Hanna Heiting Fellowship provides support for pre-doctoral, doctoral and post-doctoral candidates. It is set out to train a new generation of museum professionals: inquisitive object-based specialists who will further develop understanding of Netherlandish art and history for the future.

The Rijksmuseum will provide office space in which the fellows can work, in order to stimulate an exchange of knowledge, ideas and experience. Access will be provided to all necessary information in the museum, as well as to the library and the resources of the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague and the University of Amsterdam.

Application and procedure

The closing date for all applications is 15 March 2015, at 6:00 p.m. (Amsterdam time/CET). Selection will take place in April 2015 by an international committee. Applicants will be notified by 1 May 2015. The fellowship will start in September 2015.

See more here:

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12201006452?profile=originalMichael Portillo in his BBC Great Railway Journeys programme on Monday, 26 January, takes a look at John Dillwyn Llewelyn, a founder member of the Photographic Society in 1853, and an early Calotypist, with RPS Director-General Michael Pritchard. The two Michaels discuss JDL's work as a photographer and take a look at some of the beautiful albums of his work held by Swansea Museum. You will also be able to see a demonstration of the wet-collodion process by Tony Richards 

See more about the programme here: If you miss the transmission it will be available on the BBC iPlayer for up to a month. 

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Seminar series: Oxford Photography

12201008100?profile=originalWe are pleased to announce a new research seminar on all aspects of photography, co-hosted by the History of Art Department and the Bodleian Library. The Bodleian’s recent acquisition of papers by William Henry Fox Talbot is simply the latest addition to Oxford’s rich and varied collections of photographic material. Like the researchers who work on photography at Oxford, these materials can be found in many different—and at times unexpected—departments, institutions and intellectual contexts.

The aim of the seminar is to bring together scholars from across Oxford and beyond to consider some of these ‘local’ collections, as well as to explore photography more generally from a wide variety of historical, material and theoretical perspectives. To this end, the seminar will begin this term with two site visits to Oxford collections in order to initiate what will hopefully become an ongoing conversation amongst scholars, curators and archivists about the place of photography, both literally and metaphorically. The seminar will continue next term with a combination of further site visits and work-in-progress research papers in order to encourage dialogue and debate. 

Feb 3rd (Tuesday, Week 3): The Talbot Archive at the Bodleian Library
Larry Schaaf and Mirjam Brusius in conversation with Geraldine Johnson
Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford (please leave your belongings in the lockers)
• RSVP by Jan 28 to book a place: programme begins at 1pm, Horton Room (1st Floor) (*please note that no more places are available for the lunch at 12.30*)

March 3rd (Tuesday, Week 7): Photography at the Institute of Archaeology
Sally Crawford and Katharina Ulmschneider in conversation with Mirjam Brusius

(*please note that all places for March 3rd are now taken*)                                                                          

To RSVP and for further information, contact:

More information can also be found on our Oxford History of Art Blog. This seminar as well as future sessions will also be announced on our website.

The poster can be downloaded here: Photography%20Seminar-Oxford-Hilary%202015.pdf

If you are in Oxford on Feb 3rd, Mirjam Brusius will give a paper on Middle Eastern Photography at the Oxford Art History Research Seminar on the same day at 5 pm. 12201008894?profile=original

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12201012278?profile=originalThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world’s finest museums, seeks an Assistant/Associate Curator who will be a full-time member of the curatorial team of the Department of Photographs, whose principal focus will be nineteenth-century French and English photography and the active building of the department’s Joyce F. Menschel Photography Library.  He/she will be responsible for performing all curatorial duties, including: researching, studying, and publishing works in the collection under his/her curatorial responsibility; recommending acquisitions to complement the existing collection and the department’s library; proposing future exhibitions, installations, and publications; and maintaining positive and fruitful relations with colleagues in the museum and academic worlds, with Museum trustees and other supporters, and with dealers, booksellers, and auctioneers.  The ideal candidate will be a well-published scholar familiar with the entire literature of photography, passionately interested in connoisseurship and in improving the collection through gift and purchase, and deeply committed to the Museum’s mission and public outreach.  To perform these duties the Assistant/Associate Curator brings to bear his/her working knowledge while striving to develop increasingly comprehensive understanding of the objects in the collection and in its library.


  • Assist with the cataloging, care, and interpretation of the Museum’s permanent collection of photographs.
  • Plan and oversee regular rotations of the permanent collection in the Museum’s Johnson Gallery, Gilman Gallery, Menschel Hall for Modern Photographs, and in the Breuer Building, including the selection of art works and the writing of labels and text panels.
  • Propose and organize special exhibitions and accompanying scholarly publications in collaboration with curatorial colleagues.
  • Collaborate with and direct members of the Museum’s Watson Library on the acquisition of rare and important books and incunabula for the department’s Joyce F. Menschel Photography Library.
  • Consult with and assist the Department’s conservators on the care of the collection.
  • Recommend important acquisitions. 
  • Foster and maintain good working relationships with donors, trustees, and colleagues from other institutions in the U.S. and abroad, with the scholarly community, dealers, collectors, and other individuals involved with the interests of the Museum.
  • Actively cultivate potential sponsors, including departmental support groups.
  • Plan and execute programs for the department’s friends group (the Alfred Stieglitz Society), and for the Visiting Committee. 
  • Collaborate with colleagues throughout the Museum.
  • Respond to correspondence related to the collection and assist the public and visiting scholars.
  • Contribute to the teaching mission of the Museum through public lectures, docent training, and mentorship of interns and fellows.
  • Other related duties as assigned.

Application Deadline: February 13, 2015, 6:00pm

The Assistant/Associate Curator Photographs is a full-time position and includes full benefits. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Please Send Cover Letter, Resume And Salary History To

with “Asst/Assoc Curator Photographs” in the subject line.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art provides equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, alienage or citizenship status, marital status or domestic partner status, genetic information, genetic predisposition or carrier status, gender identity, HIV status, military status and any other category protected by law in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, lay-off and termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.

Job Requirements

Experience And Skills

  • Thorough knowledge of the history of photography.
  • Minimum of three to seven years curatorial experience required.
  • Demonstrated scholarly achievement and experience in accomplishing original research on nineteenth-century photography.
  • Foster and maintain good working relationships with donors, trustees, and colleagues from other institutions in the U.S. and abroad, with the scholarly community, and other individuals involved with the interests of the Museum.
  • Ability to maintain precise and careful records.
  • Commitment to scholarship of the highest order.
  • Ability to work closely with all staff within the Department and with colleagues throughout the Museum.

Knowledge And Education

  • Ph.D. in the History of Art with a specialization in Photography preferred.
  • Fluency in a second language.


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Figures in Folk. A PARC collaboration

12201005101?profile=originalA collaboration between London College of Communication, LCC Green Week 2015, the UAL Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC) and the Museum of British Folklore, Figures of Folk explores ongoing traditions through a series of large format photographs by Graham Goldwater, of objects associated with British folklore, alongside letterpress posters created by LCC students, inspired by ancient phrases and words.

In 2009, Simon Costin, the Director of the Museum of British Folklore, put out a call to the nation’s Morris sides to replicate their team kit in miniature, as handmade dolls. . The response has been overwhelming, with nearly three hundred sides participating in the creation of a physical archive.

Together with the Morris dolls, The Museum of British Folklore owns a collection of jig dolls – articulated wooden figures, which were used by street performers to create a rhythmic beat and movement, mimicking traditional folk dance. Both collections have been photographed by Graham Goldwater, exploring the ways in which the photographic image both documents museum objects and extends their meaning and reach. Both object and photograph become an artefact of dancing and celebration which has taken place in Britain for nearly five hundred years.Folk_Figures_web_version.jpg

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Victorian Cartes de Visite


A householder in this island of Colonsay (where I live) asked me to look through the library of his deceased parents and I came across an interesting photographic album.  With his permission I have made simple digital copies and I am attempting to identify the subjects.  I have already met with some success, and I was especially pleased when I identified one person by using the image-search facility in Google.


This led me to the blindingly-obvious thought that every such Carte de Visite will have duplicates, probably at least half-a-dozen or a dozen copies will have been made and distributed in every case.  After all, if one booked a photographic studio, put on one’s best clothes, turned up for the appointment, went back a week later to collect the result etc., it was all a bit of a hassle so one would make it worthwhile and get a good few copies.  Some of these copies will have survived, and in some cases the owners will have identified them.  Common sense suggests that anybody with a labelled photograph would be keen to make contact with anybody else who had a copy, identified or not, since both parties might have other images or documents to share.


There must be millions of unidentified Cartes de Visite worldwide, and it should be possible to establish a comparison centre on the Internet.  As we know, this already exists for paintings and buildings – the user simply submits a digital image of a scene and the system offers the closest matches, sometimes with great success.


I wonder if an respected institution such as British Photographic would think it worthwhile to try to advance such a scheme?  It might be a bit daunting to actually undertake, but perhaps an approach to Google might be enough to get the idea adopted? 


P.S. As an example of just one such album, the images to which I refer are at

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Photo/Print published by W A Mansell

Could anyone throw some light on this photo/print published by W A Mansell & Co? Not sure whether this is a photo or reproduction of a painting? In parts of the image it has raised areas as though it is has been touched up with paint?

I think I can make out a date to the bottom right of 1860? Also to the back there is a sticker to the back of the frame with No. 230 and some illegible handwriting that I cannot make out whatsoever, as well as the W A Mansell & Co label.

Any help or knowledge of this lovely piece of work and who was the photographer or artist would be very much appreciated.W A Mansell & Co Publisher

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12201003653?profile=originalBPH noted the forthcoming publication The Victorian Photographs of Dr. Thomas Keith and John Forbes White by John Hannavy. The book is now being printed as the photograph shows. The book is strictly limited to 500 copies and it should be ordered direct from John Hannavy. 

12201003653?profile=originalThe Victorian Photographs of Dr. Thomas Keith and John Forbes White will be published in April in a strictly limited edition by John Hannavy Publishing price £20.00. The 144 page hardback book is illustrated throughout in full colour to capture the beauty of Keith and White's original salt prints.

To order contact John Hannavy Publishing, 8 High Street, Great Cheverell, Wiltshire, SN10 5TH. or

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Historians, curators and photographic practitioners have begun to re-examine older forms of photography, yet many cultural studies of nineteenth-century photography have been overly reliant upon twentieth-century theoretical constructions. This multidisciplinary conference will move away from these models, exploring issues such as early photographic 'authorship' traditional technological narratives and the ideologies of photographic realism.

Deadline approaching (12th Jan):

Rethinking Early Photography, University of Lincoln, UK, 16th and 17th June 2015.

Keynote Speakers: 

Professor Kate Flint (University of Southern California) 

Professor Lindsay Smith (The Sussex Centre for the Visual, University of Sussex) 

Dr. Kelley Wilder (Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University) 

Professor Larry Schaaf (Director of the William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)

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Exhibition: Historic Photography Uncovered

12201009479?profile=originalThis exhibition traces the evolution of photography, as a scientific process, as a social record and a medium for artistic expression. The photographic material on display dates from the mid-19th to mid-20th century and shows how the history of photography relates to our own collections and the visual history of Wales.

Discover the story of the Dillwyn Llewelyn family who were based at the Penllergare estate near Swansea in the mid-19th century. Their pioneering experiments in the new medium created astonishing images of the south Wales landscape and of their family life and social activities.

Part of the display will also look at how photographic processes actually work, exploring the chemistry behind the images. You will also%

Read more…

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