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12201102654?profile=originalChiswick Auctions is delighted to have been appointed to sell an important private collection of photographic works by one of the most important photographers in the development of photography, Francis Bruguière (1879-1945).  Works include unseen and unpublished photographic prints and negatives spanning the ground-breaking photographer’s career. They will be offered in a single-owner sale of Photographica on 19 March, 2019.

UPDATED: the catalogue can now be viewed here.

Austin Farahar, Head of Chiswick Auctions Photographica department, said: “This sale poses an incredibly rare opportunity to acquire some of the most exciting, experimental and thoroughly progressive photographic works by any visual artist in the early part of the 20th century. Seeing a broad selection of work from across such an important photographer’s career gives a fascinating insight into a man that was one of the most fearless and dedicated practitioners to ever pick up a camera.

Having studied painting, American-born Francis Bruguière met and was inspired by Alfred Stieglitz, the photographer and art promoter in 1905, who accepted him as a Fellow of the Photo-Secession - an early 20th century movement that promoted photography as a fine art.

Following this he set up a studio in San Francisco, encapsulating images of the city post-earthquake and fire in   ‘pictorial’ style that Stieglitz favoured, with soft-focus images imitating painting. In 1910 he participated in the International Photo-Secession Exhibition, organized by Stieglitz at the Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo. It featured four of Bruguière’s photographs taken on a trip to Europe and clearly showed him experimenting with ‘straight’ photography, featuring sharp focus. He began experimenting with multiple-exposure photographs, which would later lead to abstractions.

On moving to New York and opening a studio in 1918, he photographed for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Vanity Fair and also became the official photographer for the Theatre Guild until 1927, photographing well-known actors on Broadway. In this role he photographed the British stage actress Rosalinde Fuller OBE (1892-1982), who he went on to marry. The sale contains numerous images of the actress.

His interest in theatrical photography stayed with him and he later planned to make a film titled ‘The Way’ representing the various stages of a man’s life. The film was to feature the actor Sebastian Droste (1892-1927), alongside his wife Rosalinde. To raise funds for the film Bruguière took photographs of the projected scenes, however Droste tragically died before production and the film didn’t go ahead. We have a selection of these still photographs in the sale.

During all of this time Bruguière had been experimenting with abstracts, multiple exposure, photograms, original processes and solarization, (way ahead of photographers such as Man Ray). Following a move to London he worked on a series of new light experiments. In 1930, he and Oswell Blakeston (1907–1985), a British writer working in the film industry created England's first abstract film called Light Rhythms, which was an abstract film based on a series of Bruguière's light abstractions. It showed light and shape in a new way and included moving light sources and an arrangement of superimpositions.

The sale of this fascinating private collection is in three parts; the first section features Bruguière’s early works that capture the Broadway stage and his Surrealist experiments for a film that he planned to make called ‘The Way’. These images are now heralded as the first surrealist works by an American photographer and exhibit very early use of multiple exposure. 

Examples include; Experiment from The Way, which dates from c.1923-1925 and depicts the actor and dancer, Sebastian Droste. The work is a multiple exposure, vintage silver gelatin print complete with the original large format negative image, gelatin on nitrocellulose sheet film. It is estimated to fetch £5,000-£8,000.

A theatrical portrait of Rosalinde Fuller from 1920 depicts Bruguière’s life partner. A vintage silver gelatin print, it is signed and dated recto by the photographer in pencil, and with an inscription by Rosalinde Fuller in pencil to the verso.  It is estimated at £1,000-£1,500.

The second section of the sale includes a range of previously unseen negatives of Bruguière’s time in London. They feature key London landmarks and offer a slice of social history from the 1920s and 30s as you’ve never seen it.

12201102492?profile=originalA work titled Multiple Exposure, London (above) depicts a typical London scene of children and prams with a highly individualistic approach taken in 1929. An uncropped negative image in gelatin on nitrocellulose sheet film, it is estimated to fetch £500-£800.  A London landmark is captured in a unique way in Trafalgar Square, London, Night Study. Dating from circa 1930. The long exposure, negative images is expected to fetch between £400-£600.

London, Zeppelin explores shape, form and light, juxtaposing a crane and construction works, with a zeppelin in the sky. The work is an unmarked negative image in gelatin on nitrocellulose sheet film and dates from circa 1930. It is estimated at £200-£300.

The third section is a rich selection of Bruguière’s personal experimental work, where he again pushed the boundaries of photography, developing his photographic practice further with solarisation, still life and multiple exposure and photo montage. Rosalinde Fuller and Other Models (solarization), which dates from between 1936-1940 demonstrates Bruguière’s exploration of the solarization technique, a method of manual image manipulation far ahead of the simple photoshop method used today. Through exposure to sunlight during the negative development process, images are completely or partially reversed in tone and dark areas appear light and light areas appear dark. The piece is an Eastman Nitrate Kodak negative image, gelatin on nitrocellulose sheet film. It is estimated to fetch £600-£800.

12201103075?profile=originalHands with Rose (solarization) is another arresting still life image where certain forms appear as dark and light shadows, using the solarization technique. It is estimated to fetch £400-£600.

See the auction house website here:

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12201101884?profile=originalThe Association for Art History’s Summer Symposium is a two-day annual conference that highlights current doctoral and early career research. This year the Summer Symposium celebrates its twentieth anniversary. The 2019 event will focus on research on photography and other forms of printed matter.

Held at the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews, the conference aims to explore the links between process and product, as well as drawing attention to the variety of different practices and techniques often categorised under the rubric of ‘prints’.

The place of photography at St Andrews is well established. Early practitioners of the medium such as John and Robert Adamson made this small Scottish seaside town the subject of their first experimentations, and the legacy of their work continues to inspire those living and working in St Andrews today. Every year the St Andrews Photography Festival attracts a wide range of contemporary photographers and visitors, while the School of Art History offers a unique MLitt in the History of Photography that focuses specifically on the evolution of the medium, highlighting the University’s extensive collections.

Inspired by these institutional connections, the Summer Symposium asks instead how the influence of photography and print making technologies may connect the local, the national and the international, as well as the historical and the contemporary. For instance, writing on cameraless photography, Jonathan Griffin states that ‘photograms have more in common with print-making, or even with the world’s oldest known paintings: outlines of hands silhouetted by pigment blown on to cave walls in Indonesia and northern Spain, dating from around 40,000 BCE’. Acknowledging this extended genealogy allows us to re-assess the dominant role that prints and photographic images have played across the arts.

Since the invention of the printing press, the potential for the widespread circulation of words and images has increased exponentially. The second main theme of this conference, then, invites reflection on the way we mediate, contextualise and interpret images through printed matter. From captions to contextualisations, illuminated manuscripts to light-sensitive papers, printed matter encompasses a variety of different artefacts including artist’s books, illustrations, engravings, and even art historical texts themselves. Indeed, the photographing or engraving of artworks has enjoyed a crucial role in the reception and the pedagogy of art history regardless of the time period or the geographical location under study.

Considering these strong links between prints and practice, how might the development of new technologies help us think differently about past practices and mechanisms? How might the pervasiveness of photographs and prints, and their potential for replication, lead us to ignore their effects and sociological impact? What, for example, might we learn from the way these technologies are used to create norms or influence how we interpret artworks? Alternatively, to what extent might photography still be considered as ‘other’ in relation to the fine arts, or be involved in processes of ‘othering’ itself? This conference aims to prompt discussion regarding the transhistorical and transnational use of photographs and prints in art history, and the various purposes, projects and contexts in which they are deployed.


Topics can include but are not limited to:

  • The significance and legacy of St Andrews in the history of photography
  • The impact of the replication and reproducibility of images in art history
  • The importance of process on final product e.g. the collaborative nature of printmaking, the role of technology in the creation of art, the different types of printmaking mechanisms (lithography, screenprints, or printing in wax through the medium of sealing)
  • Histories of collecting and curating ephemeral objects, including the role of photography in the museum as a means of conservation or display
  • Practice-led or practice-based approaches to photography and print-making
  • Printed matter in the widest possible remit, including the use of images, captions and illustrations in manuscripts, books, and comics
  • The various purposes and contexts in which photography and prints are deployed e.g. medical, anthropology, scientific, microscopic
  • The role of print making technologies in reception and art history e.g. the photographing of artworks
  • Cameraless photography and the intersection of photography and printmaking

Writing the histories and theories of photography. We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers which explore these themes or which address any other aspect of legacies of photography and printed matter across history.

As this is the 20th year of the Summer Symposium, there will be a special opportunity to visit the University of St Andrews Photographic Collections.

Please send a Word document with your contact information, paper title, an abstract of no more than 300 words, and a short biographical note. The submission of abstracts is open to current doctoral researchers and early career researchers within 5 years of receiving their doctorate.

Download the call here. Please email paper proposals by 29 March 2019 to:

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12201100489?profile=originalTickets are now on sale for the symposium: The Camera, Colonialism and Social Networks, from the Nineteenth Century to the Present Day. Join us to hear talks on themes inspired by the photographic collection of E A Hornel, delivered by nine academics, curators, collections managers and researchers from around the UK.

During this symposium, we’ll hear how networks used for sharing photographs have developed and changed, from photography’s earliest history to today’s social media platforms. Many of Hornel’s photographs came from Japan, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and Myanmar (then Burma). They ask sometimes uncomfortable questions about how ‘foreign’ people and places were viewed and photographed by western visitors. During the symposium we’ll explore examples of this from around the world, from Hornel’s time to today.

Taking place in Hornel’s ornate gallery in Broughton House, this symposium is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with an interest in Hornel, the imagery of colonialism or the continually evolving medium of photography and the networks that sustain it, to meet and hear from similarly interested academics, researchers and enthusiasts.

See the programme and book here:

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12201106287?profile=originalThe Royal Photographic Society's Historical Group will be holding a series of photo-history talks on Saturday, 9 March at the Society's new photography centre in Bristol. The three confirmed speakers are Debbie Ireland who will talk about the life and photography of Isabella Bird, Malcolm Corrigall who will discuss Minna Keene in South Africa 1903-1913, and Michael Pritchard who will discuss the growth of photographic societies in Britain. 

12201106094?profile=originalThe day will also offer the opportunity to look around the Society's new building, including the new exhibition space which is showing the 161st International Photography exhibition and the resource centre.

The Martin Parr Foundation, which is adjacent to RPS House, will be showing an exhibition A Contested Land from Document Scotland. 

Entry to the talks is free, but seats need to be booked,


Image: Minna Keene, Malay Woman © Malcolm Corrigall

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12201104698?profile=originalFollowing two inspiring international conferences about the role of Women Photographers, held at Tate Modern in April 2015 and National Gallery of Art in Lithuania in 2017, we are hosting the third conference at Tate Modern, in autumn 2019. Through a mix of call for papers and invited speakers, this public event aims to bring together key voices from across the globe to explore and identify critical themes and issues pertinent to how women work photographically in the 20th and 21st century and recognising their contributions to the medium’s history. We will explore the wide range of working practices both historical and contemporary, addressing key themes in current photography research and celebrating important work produced.

Please find the call for papers below. The themes for the conference are set out in the call for papers. We encourage submissions that embrace the following principles: an inclusive definition of gender, an interest in diverse practices, global perspectives and alternative approaches to education.

This event is organised in partnership with University for the Creative Arts (UCA) and London College of Communication (LCC) at University of the Arts London Photography (UAL), with support from The Leverhulme Trust International Network Grant. 

This conference seeks to open a discussion on the below topics, inviting new research which responds to contemporary issues around photographic practices, collecting and gender disparity. In what ways can the framing of photographic practice be reimagined?

Theme 1: Sharing the Self and Others

The act of photography is often a performative one – either as an actual performance before the camera or as a performative act of practice. The emergence of picture-based social media has also produced a plethora of diaristic commentaries on women’s lives, from intimate family picture blogs and feeds (many of which are financially profitable) to commentaries on fashion, food and health. – What is the relationship between performance and photography today? – How have women worked with performativity and photography? – How is photography used to share the personal? – What are the ethics involved in professionals working with this type of material, historic and contemporary?

Theme 2: In and Out of the Museum

Women’s work has been collected by museums far less than the work of men yet there is little recorded research to investigate why and how this has happened. Women’s work has also been largely hidden from view, buried in collections that often don’t get shown or discussed. – Is the act of collecting either as an institution or as an individual a performative, self-referential act? – How do museums acquire and collect photography, while considering gender parity? – How do photography collections respond and develop in dialogue with audiences? – How could collection strategies be reimagined?

Theme 3: Connected Practices

This theme aims to address ideas around the work of collectives, skill sharing, processes, alienation, working with specific networks, solidarity, artists collaborating with curators and with other artists and photographers. – How have ways of working together enabled new forms of photographic practice? – What kinds of collaboration or connected practices have enhanced visibility and how? – What opportunities does the medium of photobooks offer practitioners? – How are social media and new technologies creating new spaces for activism around the globe?

Theme 4: Global Stories

The history of photography and even representations of contemporary photography told today often focus on particular regions to the exclusion of others, overlooking international connections and stories. – In what way has the increased visibility of photography from different localities impacted established photographic histories and the [western?] Canon?’ – What are the contemporary responses to investigating archives? – How are photographers responding to notions of displacement and diaspora?

Theme 5: How do Women Work?

This section considers how women photographers have negotiated and navigated their way to photographic opportunities by inviting papers which explore the position of women, past, present and future working in the industry, art and photography practice. – What role does gender play in photographic practice? – How have women photographers navigated spaces of conflict and war? – How is the organisation of photography’s practice changing in response to contemporary developments in education, technologies and the industry? – What roles do developing technologies and social media play in the development of women’s photographic careers?

Submission of papers as follows:

1st March 2019 – Deadline for submission of 500 word abstract and CV or link to a webpage. The abstract must be submitted as a single PDF file, please DO NOT include any images.

16th May 2019 – Successful applicants will be notified after this date.

Please email submissions to:

See more here:

Tate Modern, London, UK
30 November – 1 December 2019

Join this conference to discuss how framing of photographic practice can be reimagined

For any enquiries please email:

The open call can be also found on Tate Modern website.

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12201104494?profile=originalCharles Piazzi Smyth, second Astronomer Royal for Scotland (1846-1888), had a career that took him to the Cape of Good Hope, Tenerife and Egypt and encompassed interests spanning mountaintop observation, photography, spectroscopy, meteorology, metrology and pyramidology. He was responsible for developing a time service for Edinburgh, with a time ball on Calton Hill and time gun fired from Edinburgh Castle. He was in close correspondence with many of the leading scientific figures of the day, including John Herschel, who encouraged his early experiments in photography, and was a fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh.

In this bicentennial meeting  speakers are invited to explore the life, work and legacy of Smyth. We aim to bring together historians, natural and social scientists, curators, archivists and others in order to do justice to the wide range of Smyth’s interests, to consider the objects and papers he left behind and the on-going fascination generated by his often pioneering and sometimes eccentric work.

12201104872?profile=originalWe welcome abstracts of c.200 words proposing 30-minute papers, which should be sent to by 5 April 2019. We particularly welcome those that consider:

  • Smyth’s contributions to astronomy and the legacy of the approaches he pioneered, including in spectroscopy and mountaintop observation
  • Smyth’s heritage, including objects, archives and buildings, in Edinburgh and beyond
  • Smyth’s work on metrology and pyramids, and its significance to Egyptology
  • Smyth’s beliefs, reactions to and controversies surrounding his work and reputation
  • The visualisation of astronomy, in history and today
  • The history of photography and stereography
  • 19th-century time distribution and its legacies
  • Smyth’s family, including his naval officer and astronomer father, William Henry Smyth, and geologist wife, Jessie Duncan Piazzi Smyth.

Confirmed speakers include Michael Barany, Jenny Bulstrode, Sarah Dry, David Rooney and Charles Withers, with keynotes from Simon Schaffer and Denis Pellerin (Curator of Brian May’s photographic collection). The event will include visits to key locations, including the recently reopened City Observatory on Calton Hill and the Smyth and Crawford Collections at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. It is hoped that the event will lead to a publication.

The symposium is being organised by Rebekah Higgitt (Senior Lecturer in History of Science, University of Kent), Andy Lawrence (Regius Professor of Astronomy, University of Edinburgh) and Chris Hall (Curator, Royal Society of Edinburgh). We are grateful to the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Centre for the History of the Sciences at the University of Kent for their support.

Call for Papers – Stars, Pyramids & Photographs: Charles Piazzi Smyth, 1819-1900

A symposium to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Piazzi Smyth

The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 3-4 September 2019

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12201101100?profile=originalHans P Kraus Jr Fine Photographs will be opening a new exhibition Lacock Abbey. Birthplace of Photography on Paper at his New York gallery on 2. It runs until10 March 2019. The exhibition brings together work from Willam Henry Fox Talbot, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Abelardo Morell and Mike Robinson artists first shown together in the well-received PhotoLondon exhibition Sun Pictures: Then and Now in 2018


Image: William Henry Fox TALBOT (English, 1800-1877) Sharington's Tower, Lacock Abbey, 6 April 1842. Salt print from a calotype negative, 16.8 x 17.8 cm plus margins. Dated by Talbot in the negative

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12201100090?profile=originalA major exhibition of photographs depicting the changing face of the Isle of Wight since the 1860s has opened at Dimbola on the Isle of Wight. The photographs, which include countryside and coastal views, shipwrecks, transport and social scenes, are drawn from the collections of Professor Robin McInnes OBE of St Lawrence and Andy Butler of Ventnor. The images illustrate how the way of life of Island residents and the natural and built environments have changed over time.
The collections have been formed over the past forty years. Professor Robin McInnes OBE is a coastal scientist, art historian and author. Andy Butler is a retired commercial fisherman and Past President of the IW Natural History & Archaeological Society.

Robin McInnes: A Portrait of the Isle of Wight 1860-1950 / until 14 April 2019
22nd February – 14th April
Dimbola, Freshwater, Isle of Wight

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12201104257?profile=originalThe History and Theory of Photography Research Centre at Birkbeck, London, has a series of spring seminars which are free and and open to all.

Tuesday 26 March 2019, 6-7:30pm

Room 114 (Keynes Library), 46 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

Jennifer Tucker, History Department and Science in Society Program, Wesleyan University

Load, Point and Shoot:  Cameras, Gun Cartridges, and the ‘Black Boxes’ of History

This paper explores what it might mean for historians to take seriously the shared history of firearms and cameras, two technologies that co-evolved in the 19th century and that have had a profound impact on society ever since. As David Campbell writes, ‘the technologies of the gun and camera…evolved in lockstep’. (Campbell 2012; Landau 2002; Virilio 1984). My paper extends this notion by analysing further the many different and often unexpected aspects of the historical relationship between cameras and guns. Drawing on new archival research on 19th and early 20th century camera and firearm production and consumption in Britain and the U.S., my paper documents their complementarity at several levels (of structure, chemistry, industrial organization, research, and marketing), aiming to address how and why the technologies function, why they are interoperable, and how their study highlights new ways of thinking about technoscience and the ‘black boxes’ of history. Technologies such as cameras and guns, I suggest, pose certain shared methodological problems for historians and raise broader questions about the writing of history and the role of the historian in ethical discussions about their production and use.

April 14-19 (day tbc)

As part of Birkbeck’s Arts Week 2019, Mathilde Bertrand, Université Bordeaux-Montaigne, France, and visiting scholar at the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, will be talking about her current research on community photography in Britain.


Wednesday 8 May 2019, 6-7:30pm

Mirjam Brusius, German Historical Institute, London, will be talking about research for her forthcoming book The Absence of Photography: William Henry Fox Talbot.

See more here:

Image: Laurie Simmons, Walking Gun (1991), gelatin-silver print, Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Aerial photography made available online

12201099896?profile=originalCambridge University’s Collection of Aerial Photographs, CUCAP, represents a unique, long and proud tradition of aerial survey and interpretation in the British Isles and Europe, started by the pioneering Roman archaeologist JK St Joseph. Much of the imagery is remarkable, of great technical interest (e.g. early colour aerial photography), of high academic value, including as it does records of coastal change, discoveries of archaeological sites and the pre-and post-industrial landscapes of Britain. The total assemblage of hard copy images, dating from 1945 to 2009, comprises 497,079 aerial images. The Collection includes both vertical and oblique aerial views of British landscapes, in both black and white and colour, and slides.

The university has made available 1500 images as a pilot project with the longer term aim of digitising the entire collection. 

See more here: and a BBC news report here:

Image: Bath looking NNE

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12201099852?profile=originalThe Photographic Collections Network is seeking a manager. The initial contract will be for 15 months, freelance, part-time, but our intention is to make this a permanent position, subject to funding. The fee is £36,000.

Late in 2018, the PCN had a second grant confirmed from Arts Council England. This allows us to build and strengthen the network, and our programme of events, knowledge sharing, advocacy and research. We are seeking a manager to co-ordinate that process and deliver the programme, working with the PCN director and our specialist steering group. The person we appoint will be highly motivated, self-driven, trustworthy, diplomatic and a great communicator. They will have significant experience of project management and some knowledge of organisational development. They will be fluent with IT, experienced at writing reports and proposals, and possibly have links or experience in the photography, art, cultural, museum or collection world.

The deadline to apply is 5pm on 15 March 2019. See more here:

Photo: Photographer Mattis Mathiesen at work on Jan Mayen, anonymous. From the Daily Herald Archive at the National Media Museum, via Flickr Commons.

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12201099074?profile=originalThis new book accompanies an exhibition of the same title which opened at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, on 14 February. Researched and written by curator Mattie Boom the book describes and illustrates Dutch amateur photography during a period of rapid growth as photography became easier to work with dry plates and smaller cameras which, in turn, acted as a catalyst for the growth of photographic societies and photography exhibitions. The book will be an important reference for anyone interested in the subject.

12201099458?profile=originalEveryone a Photographer is the first comprehensive study of the roots and early development of amateur photography. Very little is known about its origins, and the late nineteenth century can be likened to the dark ages in the history of photography. it is then that people first started to record their daily lives with small handheld cameras, which made photography more direct, faster and more dynamic. This process was boosted by young upper-class urbanites who had a seemingly insatiable desire for the latest technological innovations, accompanied by an eagerness to try them. There are striking similarities between developments in image production in the late nineteenth century and in the present digital era. Then as today, these were driven by rapid innovations in the creative industries. The meteoric rise in the popularity of amateur photography was responsible for the great turning point in photography and had a huge impact on the visual arts and visual culture in general.

Everyone a Photographer describes the rise of amateur photography in the Netherlands: the photographers, the photographs, the albums and the key figures. For the first time, the amateurs and their truly fascinating snapshots, which are of amazing quality and historical importance, are lifted out of anonymity.

Everyone a Photographer. The rise of amateur photography in the Netherlands 1880-1940
Mattie Boom


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12201098289?profile=originalTokyo Photographic Art Museum, which fills the role of Japan’s main photographic cultural centre, holds an exhibition every spring focusing on early photographs and this year, 2019, it will present The Origin of Photography: Great Britain exhibition.

Research into methods of photography began in the latter part of the 18th century, and with the announcement of the invention of the first photographic technology in 1839, the curtain was raised on photographic culture. In Great Britain, research developed by the members of the Victorian aristocracy was to have a broad influence on culture.

In this exhibition, which includes photographs from several major UK institutions as well as the TOP Museum's own collections, it will present numerous works, many of them for the first time in Japan, to show the varied developments in photographic culture that took place in Great Britain but which remain largely unknown in Japan. In addition, it will also allow visitors a rare view of Great Britain during the 19th century, captured through contemporary photographs. We hope that you will come and see the broad range of Great Britain’s photographic culture and history that served as an inspiration to the Japanese during the latter half of the 19th century.

A series of guest speakers include: Dr Luke Gartlan, Sebastian Dobson, Professor Larry Schaaf and others. 

12201098501?profile=originalThe Origin of Photography: Great Britain
5 March-6 May, 2019
Closed :Monday (however open on 29 Apr, 6 May)
Admission:Adults ¥900/College Students ¥800/High School and Junior High School Students, Over 65 ¥700
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue. 


Image: Don Juan, Count of MONTIZON, Hippopotamus at the Zoological Gardens, Regent’s Park, London, 1852, from The Photographic Album for the year 1855; being contributions from the members of the Photographic Club, 1852, Salted paper print, British Library © British Library Board (C.43.i.7)

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Impact Photos picture agency and library

12201101875?profile=originalImpact Photos agency and library which formed in the early 1980s has closed. Impact, as co-founder Philippe Achache put it so succinctly is ‘Pactin’…and is now in hundreds of cardboard boxes in a lock up garage in Queens park NW London awaiting collection by the nearly 400 contributing photographers from over the past 40 years.

The agency started life in the early 1980s as a co-operative of like minded photo-journalists who got together to cover the wedding of Charles and Diana. The founders were Philippe Achache, David Reed, Alain Le Garsmeur, Julian Calder, Sally Fear and Christopher Cormack. Brian Harris joined as a contributor in the mid 1980s after his years with The Times along with many other ‘news’ photographers of the day, including Jeremy Nicholl, Norman Lomax and Christopher Pillitz. Dozens of others contributed on an ad hoc basis, some with just a single story, others with stock and many story ideas

Brian Harris, describes the story and demise of the agency in a blog post here:

Image: Brian Harris. 

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12201101270?profile=originalFoMu Antwerp is showing an exhibition devoted to the Belgium photobook from 1 March-6 October 2019.  Photobooks have been one of the most effective means of expression for photographers since photography began.They remain in circulation, are portable and can be reissued, thus reaching a larger public than an exhibition ever could. To date, hardly any research has been conducted into Belgian photobooks. Photobook Belge aims to fill this gap by providing an overview of the evolution of the Belgian photobook from the mid-19th century to today. This exhibition and publication are finally giving the Belgian Photobook – a concept in itself – the recognition it deserves.

The publication Photobook Belge is published by FOMU in partnership with Hannibal.

Curator: Tamara Berghmans

A symposium at FOMU devoted to the same subject takes place on 21 March. Speakers include Tamara Berghmans, Sandrine Colard, Luc Derycke, Geert Goiris, Tine Guns, Steven F. Joseph, Ben Krewinkel and Stefan Vanthuyne.  Price: €25, €10 (-26) and free (FRIENDS and Academy). See more here

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12201094501?profile=originalStephen Furniss will talk about Victorian photography in general, but concentrate on the many Victorian photographers who are buried in Highgate Cemetery. Some of these were instrumental in making photography accessible and hugely
popular. Among those included in the talk will be Antoine Claudet, who was a leading expert in the Daguerrotype process and is attributed with inventing the red safelight, the Watkins brothers, who photographed over 1,500 celebrities, James
Perriman, a studio photographer who went to prison for displaying another photographer’s work outside his premises, and Valentine Blanchard, who took instantaneous photographs of London streets from a disguised van...

Stephen Furniss was an antiques dealer, is a longtime supporter of Highgate Cemetery and is an expert on Victorian photography and related subjects. The memorial photograph shown is from his extensive collection.

If you have any Victorian photographs you would like Stephen to look at for identification and dating, do bring them along with you.

'From Today, Painting is Dead’: Victorian Photographers in Highgate Cemetery
Stephen Furniss
Thursday, 21 February 2019
£9 at 7.30pm, doors open 7.00pm. Ticket includes a glass of wine
See more and book here

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12201098662?profile=originalWhere can I find more information about 'Watkins & Hill', Opticians from London. I bought a stereo daguerreotype from them, depicting the 1st duke of Wellington. Were they photographers? Or only resellers? 

In my current library I can't find much... So I would like to learn more! 

Feel free to post here or private:


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Roger Fenton and the futility of war

12201097854?profile=originalI noticed this write-up for the Royal Collection Trust's exhibition of Roger Fenton's work on the following website:   

Published in contemporary newspaper reports, Fenton's photographs showed the impact of war to the general public for the first time.  Through his often subtle and poetic interpretations Fenton created the genre of war photography, showing his extraordinary genius in capturing the futility of war.

I may be wrong, but, as far as I am aware, Fenton's photographs were not published in contemporary newspapers because the technology was not available in the 1850s. Perhaps the RCT meant engravings of his photographs. I am not sure how many of Fenton’s photographs were reproduced in newspapers as engravings, but perhaps some reader will be able to answer that question.

12201098060?profile=originalI also believe that Fenton did not intend to or indeed capture the futility of war in his images taken in the Crimea. To my mind, the closest he came to showing the downside of war was photographing the graves in the Cathcart's Hill Cemetery (left). 

Fenton's iconic The Valley of the Shadow of War is indeed an emotive image of war, but is it anti-war? Fenton himself dressed in a Zouave's uniform (see above) and carried a rifle for a portrait in his hut at Balaklava, which was probably taken by his assistant Marcus Sparling. Was that the action of a man who was subtly and poetically trying to capture the futility of war?

I trust that this will stimulate some discussion..

David R Jones

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12201096687?profile=originalTo mark the launch of major project to digitise the Architectural Association Archives' historic lantern slide collection, a distinguished panel of speakers will discuss the resurgence of the analog, the spectre of a digital dark age and the meaning and challenges of photographic seeing within the analog and the digital.

Seeing Slowly: The Analog in Photography

The event will be held as part of the AA Collections talks and will take place on 18th February, 2019, at 18:30 (AA Lecture Hall), 34-36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES


Sue Barr holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art and is head of Photography at the AA. She works and exhibits internationally, most recently as part of the AutoPhoto exhibition at the Fondation Cartier in Paris. 

Daniel Blochwitz is an independent curator as well as artistic director of photo basel, the Swiss art fair dedicated to photography and photo-based art. He has taught photography in courses, workshops and lectures at various universities and schools in the United States and Europe and his own photo-based work has been exhibited and published internationally.

Juliet Hacking is Programme Director for Sotheby’s Institute of Art MA course in Contemporary Art. Prior to this, she held the position of Head of the Photographs Department at Sotheby’s auction house in London. She is the author of 'Lives of the Great Photographers' (2015), general editor of 'Photography: The Whole Story' (2012), and has recently published ‘Photography and the Art Market’ (2018).

Gil Pasternak is Reader in Social and Political Photographic Cultures in the Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC) at De Montfort University, where he also leads the Photographic History MA Programme. Earlier in his career he worked as a photojournalist and a war photographer in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and in South Lebanon. He also practiced fine art photography and presented his work in a number of art galleries, including Tate Modern, the ICA, Machida Municipal Print Museum (Tokyo) and Kodeljevo Grad (Slovenia).

John Spinks is a renowned photographer who started his early career in fashion portraiture and commercial work for publications including Vogue, The Face, i-D, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde and the New York Times. He has also contributed to campaigns for Levi’s, Selfridges, Shinola and the menswear label Albam. His more recent work includes the evocative and highly acclaimed book, ‘The New Village’ (Bemojake, 2017) - a portrait of a Warwickshire mining village taken over a 17 year period using large format, 10 x 8 plates.


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