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12201011853?profile=originalLeicester's De Montfort University Photographic History Research Centre's (PHRC) Annual International Conference will address the complex and wide ranging question of ‘photography in print.’ The conference aims to explore the functions, affects and dynamics of photographs on the printed page. Many of the engagements with photographs, both influential and banal, are through print, whether in newspapers, books, magazines or advertising. Photography in Print will consider what are the practices of production and consumption? What are the affects of design and materiality? And how does the photograph in print present a new dynamic of photography’s own temporal and spatial qualities? In addition, photography can be said to be ‘made’ through the printed page and ‘print communities’. Therefore, the conference will also explore what is the significance of photography’s own robust journal culture in the reproduction of photographic values? How has photographic history been delivered through the printed page? What are the specific discourses of photography in the print culture of disciplines as diverse as history and art history, science and technology? In this sense, Photography in Print continues the theme of previous PHRC conferences, which have explored photographic business practices and flows of photographic knowledge.

Keynote Lectures:

22 June 2015 – Professor Jennifer Green Lewis (George Washington University Washington DC USA)

23 June 2015 – Professor Thierry Gervais, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

See the provisional programme and register here 

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Auction: Photography - 5 March 2015

12201005871?profile=originalBloomsbury Auctions is holding an auction next week which includes a significant number of nineteenth century photographs from W H F Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, and other significant British and French photographers. The catalogue can be seen online here

Image: Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), Mrs Herbert Duckworth (Julia Jackson), 1867.

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12201008061?profile=originalAlthough more than a thousand of my Autumn 1981 Britain-taken photos went missing between 1981 and mid-1987, I still have enough of my Britain-taken images in my possession for a decent portfolio of work. Included in that portfolio are quite a few environmental portraits I took around London that Autumn. (I have been able to hold onto nearly all my photos taken from mid-1987 forward.)

I wish I still had my portraits of London housemate Pinkie Virani (a noted Indian author and human rights advocate now) and Calvin Lawrence, my London roommate, who now edits in New York City.

Environmental portraits I took in 1981 London that I still own copies of include: Jim, a then-unemployed court porter by a statue of Samuel Johnson and a taxi; a Dustman smoking on the job; a Guitar Busker playing across from Covent Garden; a Homeless Man coughing at Charing Cross; an Anglo-Asian Man reading in Soho; and a Woman looking through the window of a blue van at an outdoor market.   

These six mentioned portraits may not seem spectacular at first, but they are honest-enough images of everyday people involved in everyday life. I hope you see merit in these portraits of people, which are candid, or in the cases of Jim and the Dustman, spontaneously posed, all in natural settings.

Environmental Portraits Around 1981 London, by Photographer & Writer David Joseph Marcou.

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12201013282?profile=originalI photographed Bert Hardy, the great Picture Post photojournalist, at the same time as our second-ever interview at his Surrey estate in late November 1981, as per the Hardy's wishes. I only have two remaining photo-portraits of him from among several I took of him that day. My second now ex-wife apparently pilfered in 1987 my 2 rolls of film (one black-and-white, one color) from that shoot. I've a third image taken by me on the Hardy's estate that day, of his dogs Lizzie and Kim playing along a trail by a tree.

I have no negatives from that shoot except three copy-negatives, but do have some vintage prints my early photo-technicians made for me. Mrs. Sheila Hardy, Bert's widow, told me ca. 2005 that she knows I took my portraits of Bert because she said she was there with us at the time they were taken.

In 2003, the Hardy's darkroom manager Charlie Keeble printed for me an archival 6X9 print of Bert leaning in a doorway with his dogs yelping at his feet. Since I asked Mr. Keeble to also print one for the British National Portrait Gallery, he did and offered to deliver it himself to the NPG, which he soon did. It was accepted into the NPG Photographs Collection, ca. Dec. 2003 I believe the NPG documents indicate. That photo-portrait by me is published on the front-cover of my 50,000-word biography of Bert Hardy, 'The Cockney Eye', which I published in early 2013, just-prior to Bert's birth-centennial.

On the day I photographed Bert Hardy, I also photographed a friend of his from the Rank Film Company, a tall man in trench coat and fedora hat wearing eyeglasses who stopped by briefly. I no longer have photos of the Rank man or Mrs. Hardy, but before my negatives of that shoot were pilfered I had quite a few 4X6 prints made in Wisconsin, and sent them to Sheila Hardy.

The three photos I still own from that day (all taken by me) I've published often (online and in print). I believe the British NPG print of Bert and his dogs taken by me has the catalogue number NPGx126230 on it.

Though I've published my other remaining portrait of Bert Hardy many times (of him seated by his living room window with a pen in hand), I don't know that any archive I've offered it to so far has accepted it into its permanent collection. I believe it's a very rich photo portrait. I took it originally in color, but now only have the cropped black-and-white version of it.

Bert Hardy lived from 1913-1995. At last check in 2014, his widow, Sheila, was still living.

By David Joseph Marcou, Photographer & Writer in Wisconsin.

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Stereo Daguerrotype

12201003864?profile=originalI have a beautiful stereo Dag, written on the back in pencil is "Flight into Egypt". The subject is Mary and baby Jesus on an ass, the material is white, could be marble or porcelain and there is nothing to indicate scale. I have searched the internet for the subject without luck, but somebody thought it worth photographing during the 1840s. The glass is cracked and needs to be replaced, I might find out more when I unwrap the image. I have taken advice about doing this so happy to undertake the job, but any further advice would be welcome. I would like to know who took the picture, UK or USA if the note on the back is contemporary, when and if possible where. Not much to ask for! Will post an image when I find out how to. DonB


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12201011699?profile=originalAlthough I didn’t fully realize it in Autumn 1981 when I was a member of the Missouri-London Reporting Team and a London Sunday Times Intern, one assignment I chose for myself (not part of the regular writing program, which was directed by John H. Whale) was to photograph a children’s day centre in Highbury/Canonbury, London, and Picture Post great Bert Hardy had also photographed a British children's day centre about 30 years before...writes David Joseph Marcou. I’d photograph Mr. Hardy memorably later in 1981.

I first obtained formal permission in writing from the District Education Authority. Margaret Johnson, I believe, was the day centre’s director. She was very helpful, as was her chief assistant, Gloria -- or was her name Gladys?

The timing for my coverage was in October or November 1981 or both. Although I wanted to show a composite day of activity there over the full month, including a dusk shot of it from the building next door (where George Orwell apparently once lived), I couldn’t get clearance from the man in charge of that next-door building to take the just-after-dark shot. Each time I visited the centre, I took pictures about an hour.

Children of all backgrounds attended the centre (one little girl wore a mink coat, but most of the centre's kids were from working class families). My favorite subjects may have been the great 3-year-old artist Demien, whose drawings adorned many areas inside the centre; and Lucy, a little girl reading (I was told an ancestor of hers was a famous evolutionist). Demien was Anglo-African, as was his friend Jonathan. I took facial shots of Demien, and the two friends together too, though I was asked not to identify any children if my photos of them were published at that time. My best portrait of Demien was my black-and-white picture-postcard image of him for my one-man photo show in Seoul’s Pine Hill Gallery and Restaurant in Feb. 1987.

Along the way, I also photographed a laundry attendant at her ironing board, and the teacher Elizabeth helping a little girl get her winter coat on, which indicates my assignment probably wrapped up in mid-November or so. In addition, I like my photo of two little girls kibbitzing on the centre’s back door steps as they put on their coats, the teacher/playwright Bob helping a little boy learn to swim on a day trip to a nearby indoor pool, and a little boy kissing his mom as she drops him off one morning (though I no longer have a copy of the latter image).

I also photographed a teacher tucking in a little girl for her nap, a little girl seeming to sneak out of recess (I thought a child sneaked out for recess, not out of it), and a little girl being walked into the kitchen area by Gloria. Other favorite photos are of a small group of kids eating breakfast as a teacher oversees things, and Gloria receiving newspapers, etc., from a shop deliveryman at one of the centre’s gates as a small boy with toy golf club looks on.

My second now-ex-wife seems to have pilfered many of my best early negatives and slides, including most of my day centre images; I’ve still got 50 or so day centre prints I believe. I’d taken about 15 rolls of 36-exposure Agfa color 400 ASA negative film, a couple rolls of 36-exposure Agfa color 400 ASA transparency film, and 1 or 2 rolls of Ilford black-and-white 400 ASA negative film. In Wisconsin later, I had at least the color negatives made into contact sheets, and sent one set (there may have been two sets, but I can’t recall that for sure) to Margaret Johnson. I never heard back from her, though.

One of my journalism housemates, now an attorney, Marynelle Hardee, asked me later what that children’s day centre shoot was all about. I hope it was about very good photography, and getting reacquainted with the child side of life for positive reasons. Readers/viewers can be the judge.

Photographing a London Children’s Day Centre for a Month in Autumn 1981, by David Joseph Marcou, Photographer and Author.

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12201012698?profile=originalAn album of seventy photographs by Oscar Gustav Rejlander, one of the most important photographers of the 19th century is at risk of export unless a UK buyer can be found. Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has placed a temporary export bar on the album of portrait and figurative photographs by Oscar Rejlander (1813-1875), which includes prints of “Trying to Catch a Fly” and “The Fly is Caught”, providing a last chance to keep it in the UK.

News of the album being offered at auction was reported exclusively at BPH last August - click here - and in a follow up post here.

Born in Sweden, Rejlander settled in England in the 1840s. His pioneering work in combination printing - combining several negatives to form one image - brought him wide renown, and earned him the moniker “the father of art photography”. A highly influential figure in his time, he was regarded by contemporaries as a major star of the photographic world.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:

The Rejlander album is a truly remarkable compilation of images by one of the great pioneers of photography. I hope a UK buyer can be found so that the album can undergo further study here in the UK. It would also be a tremendous addition to the nation’s photographic archive.

The album contains an exceptional selection of Rejlander’s work. Whilst a few of the prints are well known and some can be found in other UK collections, the majority are previously unknown studies. The compiler of the album is currently a mystery, and further investigation into their identity and that of many of the sitters, as well as the album’s provenance, could reveal a wealth of information to researchers.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey took the decision to defer granting an export licence for the 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. The RCEWA made their recommendation on the grounds that it was of was of outstanding significance for the study of the history of photography and for our wider understanding of nineteenth century art.

Christopher Wright from the RCEWA said:

Rejlander was one of the most popular photographers of his day, famous for pioneering combination prints and for his illustrations in Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. This particular album, a rare survival, is known to have been shown to both Pope Pius IX and the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII), who was an enthusiastic collector of his work.

The decision on the export licence application for the album will be deferred for a period ending on 23 April 2015 inclusive. This period may be extended until 23 July 2015 inclusive if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the album is made at the recommended price of £82,600.

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

See a digital version of the album

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12201012083?profile=originalWe all think we know what photographs are, and why we have them...writes Elizabeth EdwardsDe Montfort UniversityPhotography's default history is told as art – it shouldn't be. Photographs are everywhere. For the past 150 years they have penetrated, entangled and perhaps defined almost every area of human endeavour that we care to name – medicine, industry, tourism, relationships, archaeology, social policy – and that’s just for starters. They have rendered both the visible and invisible in certain ways that have shaped our world.

Some of the earliest efforts to represent that world are to be found in the Tate Britain’s new exhibition Salt and Silver, featuring salt prints taken between 1840 and 1860. Salt prints are the result of the first negative/positive process that made photography the reproducible form with which we are familiar. They are beautiful and jewel-like, their photographic chemicals absorbed deep into the fibres of their papers. It gives them a softness which, combined with fading caused by chemical instability, produces ethereal qualities quite unlike anything else. These are precious, connoisseurial objects, the exhibition strap-line – “rare and revealing” – makes that clear to us.

But these fragile and precious prints (they cost a fortune at auction) caused me to ponder the kinds of photographic histories are presented to the public. Why does the default value of photography always seem to be “art”? This implies that photography’s ultimate purpose is aesthetic discernment and expression. But I don’t think that this alone communicates the importance or power of photography.

David Hill & Robert Adamson, Five Newhaven Fisherwomen, c. 1844. © Wilson Centre for Photography

Other histories

This was really brought home to me when I belatedly visited the Science Museum’s Drawn by Light, an array of material from the Royal Photographic Society’s collection. Science and photographic practice were important strands in the exhibition. But these interests slipped almost seamlessly into a narrative of photography’s aesthetic aspirations and the great names of the photographic canon: from Julia Margaret Cameron to Martin Parr. Despite some interesting juxtapositions, somehow they crowded out the other important voices.

It’s a shame that this is the photographic history that is told by default. There are hundreds of photographic histories, in science, medicine, architecture, industry. But these are too often shoe-horned into a category called “art” to be made visible or interesting.

Edouard Denis Baldus, The Floods of 1856, Brotteaux Quarter of Lyon, 1856. © Wilson Centre for Photography

Recently I was talking to a colleague working on industrial photographs. These provide a visual narrative of how we have structured an economic base, of practices that have involved the labour of thousands upon thousands of ordinary people (that category beloved of politicians). Fascinating, but nobody wanted to do an exhibition because this was not “art”, he was told.

There are a multitude of reasons for this: the institutional and disciplinary investments in making photographs one kind of thing and not another, the siren pull of the art market which dictates what is desirable and important and what is not. But what of the rest – the photographic workhorses that have shaped ideas since the 1850s? While pleasingly evident in new academic work, they are largely written out of gallery agendas, except as the odd foray into “comparative material”.

The cosy canon

Canons of anything come with a cosy conceptual cogency. They provide frameworks, which save you the hard work of thinking outside the box. Certainly other kinds of photographs intrude into gallery spaces. But they often do so – not because of their intrinsic historical interest, but because they appeal to contemporary aesthetic sensibilities.

It is in this way that some 19th-century photographers have been “recognised” through the application of those sensibilities. This might be as proto-modernists (Roger Fenton’s The Queen’s Target for example), surrealists (the fascination with a photograph Benjamin Stone took in 1898), post-modernists or whatever. Juxtaposed with contemporary art photography this may be fun and quirky and provide an interesting provocation. But I’m not sure it does anything to explain the richness of photography’s contribution to the way we see the world. It doesn’t challenge us, it doesn’t explain why we, as an exhibition-going public, need to know about it.

William Fox Talbot, Articles of China, 1844. © Wilson Centre for Photography

There are, of course, notable exceptions. Autograph’s brave and ghastly, but historically and emotionally compelling, exhibition Without Sanctuary (2011) on American lynching photographs, was all the more shocking because the photographs were presented as cultural objects, scruffy, damaged postcards that people wrote on and handled.

Or the Photographer’s Gallery Mass Observation: This is Your Photo (2013) which integrated photographs with the wider archive. Even more so their current exhibition Human Rights Human Wrongs. But these important forays tend to be stand-alone, issue-led exhibitions rather than integrated into histories of photographic culture.

Auguste Salzmann, Statuette en Calcaire; Type Chypriot 1858-1865. © Wilson Centre for Photography

This brings me back to the Tate exhibition. The content of the salt prints is wide and varied, signalling how the all-embracing reach of photography was seeded from the beginning, yet that it tends to get lost in the aesthetic and connoisseurial histories of photography that dominate, as we are asked to contemplate the fine object.

But the photographs here are more than precious and beautiful objects. Photographs of Middle Eastern antiquities were perhaps part of a desire for scientific archaeological evidence in an imperial age. Others are part of the post-rebellion political need for consolidation through a search for authentic origins of Indian heritage – one later refigured within nationalist frameworks (Linneaus Tripe’s architectural studies in India).

Yet perversely the very immediacy of photographs also confronts us with the unknowability of other people’s lives in other ages. That is what makes them so compelling and opens them to possibilities beyond structures of the canon – if we allow them to.

The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Professor Elizabeth Edwards. A visual and historical anthropologist, Professor Edwards has worked extensively on the relationships between photography, anthropology and history, on the social practices of photography, on the materiality of photographs and on photography and historical imagination.

She has previously held posts as Curator of Photographs at Pitt Rivers Museum and lecturer in visual anthropology at the University of Oxford, and at the University of the Arts London.

In addition to major monographs, she has published over 80 essays in journals and exhibition catalogues over the years, is on the board of major journals in the field including Visual Studies and History of Photography.

She is currently working on late nineteenth and early twentieth century photographic societies and networks of photographic knowledge, on the market in ‘ethnographic’ photographs across scientific and popular domains in the nineteenth century, and the relationship between photography and historical method.

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Prototype Ticka camera

12201011063?profile=originalHoughton's Ticka camera is a well-known collectible made by Houghtons Ltd and introduced c.1905. Collector and Special Auction Services camera specialist Jonathan Brown recent came across a previously unknown prototype Ticka from c1929 in a local auction for a modest sum. Not unsurprisingly it was quickly sold on for £1500 to a French dealer.

The camera is not marked as a Ticka but has a patent number 337454 on it assigned to Houghton Butcher Mfg Co Ltd in 1929. The finish looks like the 'tropical' metal finish found on several other Houghton-Butcher cameras from the same period. It has a 12201010890?profile=originalratchet film advance to prevent double exposure (the subject of the patent), a window for the film counter and a sports finder on it incorporating the lever for opening the back.

Photo: courtesy SAS with thanks for sharing.

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12201009665?profile=originalI am researching these 2 photos, mounted back to back, from a British album dated 1858-1860.  They appear to show a boy's prep school with many students, a curious tree/metal sculpture or scientific apparatus, and a military bridge- building structure.

Both are arch-topped albumen prints, 196 x 146 mm.

The uniforms/ hats remind me of Dodgson's photos of the Twyford school, where Charles Dodgson's brother Edwin Heron Dodgson attended, and George William Kitchin (Xie's father) was headmaster....

Just delicious connections...

Of course, I'm 95% sure that this is just wishful thinking on my part, but would like some expert opinions or feedback.

Thanks so much, David


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Website: launch of

12201014289?profile=originalClaire and James Hyman have launched their new website devoted to British Photography which presents British Photographs from the Hyman Collection. The website is intended as an educational resource that reflects our ongoing commitment to supporting and promoting photography in Britain.

Claire and I both believe that art should be accessible to all and hope that this website will serve as a public resource that will help the status of photography in Britain as well as making it more readily accessible to an international audience.

The collection is wide-ranging and includes work in all media with a particular emphasis on photography from its birth to the present. However, as an indication of our commitment to supporting British photography we have chosen to launch with this aspect of the collection.

We have spent the last three years working on the design and content of this website and we are very grateful to the many people who have assisted us in documenting and cataloguing the works and have helped build the database and website.

We hope that you enjoy the website: 

Claire and James Hyman, London, 2015.

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12201008473?profile=originalIn November 2014 Christopher Penn published The Herklots folder of Photographs, his third book about photography in South India in the nineteenth century.  His first, In pursuit of the past, containing 333 A5 pages and 68 illustrations, starts like a ‘Who do you think you are?’ story as he learns for the first time about his great-grandfather A.T.W. Penn (1849-1924) one of the pioneering photographers of India.  It describes the life and work of Penn and was published in 2008. 

In his second book The Nicholas brothers and A. T. W. Penn he takes the story on to A. T. W. Penn and his contemporaries, the evolution of commercial photographers’ studios in the second half of the nineteenth century and the subsequent collapse of the market owing to simplification of the process and the introduction of the Kodak camera.  The Nicholas brothers and A. T. W. Penn containing 282 pages including 105 duotone plates, was published by Bernard Quaritch Limited in October 2014.  

Out of the research for these two books came the third, containing 154 A4 pages including 77 duotone plates, published in November 2014.  It describes the growth of Coonoor, the business centre of the Nilgiri Hills in south India, light industry established there, the development of its coffee plantations and information about certain historically important families and individuals including the Herklots, the Stanes, and the Groves families, and photographers active in the region: John Nicholas, James Perratt Nicholas, Edmund David Lyon, A. T. W. Penn and Dr. Alexander Hunter who founded the Madras School of Industrial Arts in 1850 and was joint founder with the Hon. Walter Elliot of the Madras Photographic Society in 1857. 


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Library of Birmingham - an update

12201000679?profile=originalThere have been reports in the press suggesting that the Library of Birmingham photography collections have been 'saved'.  This is not the case and the following statement helpful:

Dr Michael Pritchard, Director-General, The Royal Photographic Society commented: "Having sought clarification about the situation The RPS understands from sources within Birmingham City Council that, contrary to some recent press reports, the four posts of those working with the photography collections held at the Library of Birmingham have not been 'saved'.

The Society understand that about five posts will be saved across the whole library. These will be divided between the Children's Library, the Music Library and the Archives Heritage and Photography Department. No specific details of any of these posts or their allocation within the overall service has yet been announced.

There is currently therefore no proposal for a specific post that is responsible for the photography collections nor any other requiring the specialist knowledge required to manage them.

The RPS remains very concerned that the internationally important photography collections held at the Library of Birmingham therefore remain at risk with no substantive proposal from the Council to secure public access to them, or one which would ensure the provision of appropriate resources to catalogue, interpret and conserve and provided informed access for current and future generations".

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12201007669?profile=originalThe Department of History, University of Nottingham, in partnership with the British Museum invites applications from suitably qualified UK/EU candidates for a full-time 3-year Collaborative Doctoral Award, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, to conduct research on the theme: ‘Site-Seeing: Postcards of the Middle East & the Visual Construction of Place, 1890s to 1990s.

The PhD project will examine the role of the photographic picture postcard as a crucial technology of 20th-century visual culture and modern place-making. It will draw on the Museum’s expansive collection of postcards of the Middle East, spanning colonial and postcolonial periods, and analyse the production and use of these postcards both as visual media and as material objects.

The Studentship will start on 1 October 2015. For further details of the award, the research project and procedures for applying, please see link below. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 27 February 2015.

Full details:



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12201007267?profile=originalNew York Public Library's exhibition Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography is a fascinating history of photography based on its own holdings of books, printed materials and photographs. The exhibition includes plenty British material from Talbot's Pencil of Nature and an Anna Atkins album to Frith's Gossiping Photographer and more recent work.

Thanks to the development of new technology and social media, more photographs are created, viewed, and shared today than ever before. Public Eye, the first-ever retrospective survey of photography organized by NYPL, takes advantage of this moment to reframe the way we look at photographs from the past. What are some of the platforms and networks through which photographs have been shared? In what ways have we, as photography’s public and one of its subjects, been engaged over time? To what ends has the street served as a venue for photographic practice since its beginnings? And, of more recent concern, 12201007488?profile=originalare we risking our privacy in pursuit of a more public photography? Ranging from photography’s official announcement in 1839 to manifestations of its current pervasiveness, this landmark exhibition, drawn entirely from the Library’s collections, explores the various ways in which photography has been shared and made public. Photography has always been social.


It is on show until 4 September 2015.

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12200943683?profile=originalA PhD research scholarship including stipend and tuition fee costs is offered within the Photographic History Research Centre in the School of Humanities. It is available to UK or EU students who are suitably qualified and have outstanding potential as a researcher.

Applications are invited for projects that address any aspect of photographic industry and business in the nineteenth and/or twentieth centuries, a field which has received limited attention in history of photography. Projects might examine, for instance, the practices of a specific studio or business, labour in the photographic industry, a specific community or location, marketing methods, commercially orientated photographic practices, or aspects of industrial research and development. The project will contribute to PHRC’s world-leading research focus on the methods for expanded histories of photography and the social, cultural and economic practices of photography.

We seek applicants with a strong academic background in subjects such as history, art history, science and technology studies, business history or visual culture studies.

For a more detailed description of the scholarship and the subject area at DMU please visit or contact Professor Elizabeth Edwards on email

In offering this scholarship the University aims to further develop its proven research strengths in Photographic History. It is an excellent opportunity for a candidate of exceptional promise to contribute to a stimulating, world-class research environment.

Applications are invited from UK or EU students with a Master’s degree or good first degree (First, 2:1 or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Doctoral scholarships are available for up to three years full-time study starting October 2015 and provide a bursary of ca. £14,057 pa in addition to University tuition fees.

To receive an application pack, please contact Morgan Erdlenbruch via email at Completed applications should be returned together with two supporting references.

Please quote ref: DMU Research Scholarships 2015: ADH FB2.

School of Humanities, Faculty of Art, Design and Humanities De Montfort University, Leicester

Deadline for applications: March 30th  Interviews w/c April 20th.

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Auction: Reports by the Juries / Talbot

12201013677?profile=originalBonhams auction of Fine Books and photographs on 18 March 2015 includes a set of Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851, including 154 mounted Calotypes. The nine volume set is a presentation set for Richard Cobden, one of the Commissioners. It is estimated at £25,000-35,000. 

The lot description reads: 

Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851. Reports by the Juries on The Subjects in the Thirty Classes into which the Exhibition was Divided, 4 vol., 154 MOUNTED CALOTYPES, captioned on the mounts, variable tones, images approximately 175 x 224mm., 3 chromolithographed plates by Day & Son, 1852; Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, 1851. Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue, 3 vol., numerous wood-engraved plates and illustrations, large hand-coloured folding map, one leaf of text loose,[1852]; First Report of the Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851, 2 hand-coloured folding engraved plans, one chromolithographed coloured diagrammatic plate, 8 plates (2 folding, 5 of Medals), 1852; Exhibition MDCC.LI Medals, 5 medals loose mounted in case, the velveteen and silked mounting worn, [1852], together 9 vol., some spotting, each volume with a specially printed presentation leaf to Cobden, original uniform red morocco by Riviere, lettered in gilt on upper covers and spines, imperial blue silk doublures with royal arms in gilt and the initials for Victoria and Albert entwined, g.e., the medal case to match with brass hinges and clasps and with the presentation printed in gilt on the case doublure, folio (350 x 250mm.), Spicer Brothers...W. Clowes & Sons, [1851]-1852 (9)



    Nikolaas Henneman (Talbot's one time photographic assistant) was responsible for printing all the photographs needed for the Reports(approximately 20,150 assuming that all the proposed 130 copies were completed), from albumenised glass plate negatives and calotype paper negatives by Claude Marie Ferrier and Hugh Owen respectively. Henneman was commissioned by the Royal Commissioners of the Great Exhibition to undertake the printing of the positives on Talbot's silver chloride paper. However, as Talbot commented at the time, "[the Committee] are so extraordinarily stingy, notwithstanding they have a surplus of £200,000, and make such hard conditions with [Henneman], that it is doubtful whether he will earn anything by his labour" (Gernsheim, p.207). The photographs include views of the exterior and interior of Paxton's main building, together with important images of exhibits ranging from agricultural machinery and steam trains to inflatable boats and garden statues. 

    Provenance: Richard Cobden (1804-1865), commissioner for the Great Exhibition, manusfacturer and politician, Anti-Corn Law League campaigner, presentation leaf in each volume; Durnford Library bookplate. Cobden was a leading figure in the success of the Exhibition. "If there is a single person who represented internationalism at the time of the Great Exhibiton it was Richard Cobden... [it] provided a great opportunity to promote his internationalist beliefs, beliefs he largely shared with Prince Albert... [stating] at a public meeting in Birmingham 'We shall by that means [the Exhibition] break down the barriers that have separated the people of different nations, and witness the universal republic...'" (The Great Exhibition of 1851: A Nation on Display, edited by Jeffrey A. Auerbach, 1999).

See more here:

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12201011501?profile=originalThis long-awaited book from Ken and Jenny Jacobson will be published on 19 March. The inspiration for the book was a remarkable discovery made by the authors at a small country auction in 2006 (See:  One lightly regarded lot was a distressed mahogany box crammed with long-lost early photographs. These daguerreotypes were later confirmed as once belonging to John Ruskin, the great 19th-century art critic, writer, artist and social reformer. Moreover, the many scenes of Italy, France and Switzerland included the largest collection of daguerreotypes of Venice in the world and probably the earliest surviving photographs of the Alps.

Despite his sometimes vehemently negative sentiments regarding the camera, John Ruskin never stopped using photography. He assiduously collected, commissioned and produced daguerreotypes and paper photographs; he pioneered the use of the collotype and platinotype processes for book illustration. Many of the recovered daguerreotypes reveal surprising compositions and have enabled insights into how Ruskin’s use of them influenced the style of his watercolours.

Core to this book is a fully illustrated catalogue raisonné of the 325 known John Ruskin daguerreotypes. The overwhelming majority of the newly-discovered plates are published here for the first time. There are an additional 276 illustrations in the text and an essay describing the technical procedures used in conserving Ruskin’s photographs. Ten chapters extensively study Ruskin’s photographic endeavours. A chronology, glossary, twenty-page bibliography and comprehensive index complete this handsome hardback book.

Carrying Off the Palaces: John Ruskin's Lost Daguerreotypes
Ken Jacobson & Jenny Jacobson

Publication date: 19 March 2015 – ISBN 9780956301277 – Price: £85
432 pages (including 601 illustrations)

To reserve a copy at the special price of £75, available until 31 March 2015, please contact: Alice Ford-Smith (

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