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12201115900?profile=originalFor its second survey of photography, the Barnes Foundation is presenting nearly 250 early photographs—most of which have never been exhibited before—created by British and French photographers between the 1840s and 1880s. Curated by Thom Collins, Neubauer Family Executive Director and President of the Barnes, From Today, Painting Is Dead: Early Photography in Britain and France is drawn from the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg and spans the invention of the daguerreotype to photography on paper and beyond. The show is on view in the Barnes’s Roberts Gallery from February 24 through May 12, 2019.

From Today, Painting Is Dead: Early Photography in Britain and France is sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal.

Following the production of the first photographs in the 1830s, and before the advent of Kodak’s point-and-shoot camera in 1888 and the industrialization of photography, artists experimented with photography, creating innovative processes and uniquely compelling representational tropes.

“When the influential French painter Paul Delaroche saw a photograph for the first time, he proclaimed, ‘From today, painting is dead!’ This sentiment captures the anxiety with which photography was greeted by artists, though it would be nearly 50 years before technology evolved enough to approximate the work Delaroche and his fellow painters were already doing,” says Collins. “This exhibition explores the very fertile period in the early history of photography, when the medium’s pioneers were grappling with the complex inheritance of official, state-sponsored visual culture.”

For the better part of the 19th century—before rebellious groups like the impressionists challenged the status quo—powerful fine arts academies in Paris and London governed the official style for painting and even guided what subjects artists should depict. Some themes were considered more important than others, based on their cultural significance and the skill required to render them. Moralizing historical subjects were generally the most valued; next came portraiture, then genre (or scenes of daily life), then landscape, and finally still life.

Photography developed amid this stringent artistic climate. Between 1840 and 1870, photographers of all stripes—both amateurs and an emergent class of professionals, makers of vernacular pictures and those aspiring to create fine art—experimented with the new medium, not only its mechanics and chemistry, but also its representational potentials. In doing so, they inevitably absorbed—and transformed—the well-established tropes of the dominant academic painting tradition.

12201116495?profile=originalFrom Today, Painting Is Dead: Early Photography in Britain and France features over 60 photographers, including such masters as William Henry Fox Talbot—the scientist and inventor credited with developing the first photographic prints on paper; Félix Nadar, the great portraitist of Paris high society; Roger Fenton, the English painter turned celebrated photographer who achieved widespread recognition for his photographs of the Crimean War in 1855; Gustave Le Gray, the leader of 1850s French art photography; and Julia Margaret Cameron, whose literary and biblical-themed figure studies and captivating portraits were unprecedented in her time.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • Original calotypes from 1840 to 1845 by William Henry Fox Talbot, including still lifes, portraits, landscapes, and street scenes from both England and France.
  • The earliest war photographs, taken of the Crimean War by Roger Fenton, including his iconic Valley of the Shadow of Death as well as the 11-plate panorama of Sebastopol.
  • An 1844 daguerreotype of Jerusalem—one of the first of the city—by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey.
  • A full-plate daguerreotype of the Fontaine des Innocents in Paris by Baron Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gros from 1850.
  • Some of the earliest existing travel photographs of the Middle East, Southern Europe, Africa, India, Burma, Ecuador, Mexico, and New Zealand.
  • Portraits by Félix Nadar, Napoleonic Paris’s great portraitist and larger-than-life personality, with subjects ranging from literary legends—including an oversize 1885 deathbed portrait of Victor Hugo—to the first official Japanese delegation to France (1864). Also included are Nadar’s 1860s photographs of the Paris catacombs and sewers, which represent one of the first uses of artificial lighting in photography.
  • Pre-Raphaelite allegorical portraiture by Julia Margaret Cameron.
  • French physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey’s 1880s motion studies of athletes, which prefigure the development of motion pictures, much like Eadweard Muybridge’s motion studies in the US.
  • Seascapes, landscapes, photographs of military maneuvers, and other works by Gustave Le Gray, the leader of the 1850s French movement of fine art photography. 

All works are from the collection of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg. This exhibition was organized by the Barnes Foundation in association with art2art Circulating Exhibitions. The presentation at the Barnes Foundation is curated by Thom Collins, Neubauer Family Executive Director and President of the Barnes.

This exhibition was produced as part of a new educational venture between the Barnes and the University of Pennsylvania led by Thom Collins and professor Aaron Levy, with curatorial contributions from students in the 2018 Spiegel-Wilks Curatorial Seminar “Ars Moriendi: Life and Death in Early Photography.”

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12201112901?profile=originalBruce Castle Museum presents an exhibition dedicated to British film pioneer Robert W. Paul, who founded an innovative studio on Muswell Hill in the late 19th century. Celebrating Paul's 150th anniversary, the show includes fascinating early cinema technology, historical photographs and a look into Paul's early popular films, many of which were made in Haringey and which set the template for the earliest film genres.

Haringey residents will be surprised to know that Paul’s company even recreated scenes from the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) on the Muswell golf course, in the North London district where he would create an innovative studio and produce close to 800 pictures.

Paul’s cameras aimed to show the world: the roaring sea at Dover, the mysterious landscapes of Portugal and Spain, and the first screen drama made in Britain ('The Soldier’s Courtship', 1896) were only a few of the influential moving picture shows he produced.

The exhibition is curated by Ian Christie, noted Birkbeck, University of London film scholar and broadcaster, and will travel to other venues later in the year. As part of the exhibition, visitors will also find the graphic novel Time Traveller: Robert Paul and the Invention of Cinema, by Christie and the artists ILYA.

Animatograph! How cinema was born in Haringey
5 April - late July 2019 / Wednesday to Sunday, 1pm to 5pm
Price details: Free
Venue: Bruce Castle Museum, Lordship Lane, Tottenham, N17 8NU

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The David Bailey SUMO

12201112854?profile=originalIn 1965, portrait and fashion photographer David Bailey released his groundbreaking book Box Of Pin-Ups, securing him as the hip tastemaker for 1960s London cool. With Mick Jagger his best man at his wedding to Catherine Deneuve, Bailey was also the inspiration for the classic movie Blow-Up. From the Swinging ’60s to the present day, Bailey has never stopped pushing the boundaries of his signature in-your-face portraiture and is widely regarded as one of the great postwar photographers.

This big book of Bailey is the culmination of an incredible career, the result of two years’ worth of research into his personal archives. Through penetrating pictures of the beautiful and the notorious, the idolized and the powerful, friends and family, writers, artists, and fellow photographers, Bailey presents a sweeping cultural history of the last 60 years. Featured subjects include: Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí, Kate Moss, Nelson Mandela, Francis Bacon, Zaha Hadid, the Rolling Stones, Jack Nicholson, Brigitte Bardot, Margaret Thatcher, and hundreds more.

As his friend Damien Hirst writes in the foreword: “He’s the master of his art and he’s created a mind-blowing visual language.”

Limited to a total of 3,000 numbered and signed copies, each edition comes with a bookstand designed by Marc Newson and a set of of four book jackets featuring John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Jean Shrimpton, Mick Jagger, and Andy Warhol.

The Collector’s Edition (No. 301–3,000) is limited to 2,700 copies. The four Art Editions of 75 copies each (No. 1–300) all come with separate prints signed by David Bailey.

“Big book. Small club.”

— David Bailey

12201112854?profile=originalThe artist:

London-born David Bailey (b. 1938) is widely acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of contemporary photography, having shot some of the most iconic portraits of the last five decades. Bailey’s early work helped both define and capture 1960s London, when he made stars of a new generation of models, including Jean Shrimpton and Penelope Tree. Bailey channeled the energy of London’s informal street culture to create a new style of casual coolness. Drawing inspiration from Modernism, he injected movement and immediacy into his work by using a very direct, cropped perspective. Bailey’s interests extend to commercials, film, painting, and sculpture.

The author:

Francis Hodgson is Professor in the Culture of Photography at the University of Brighton. For many years until 2015, he was the critic for The Financial Times and former head of photographs at Sotheby’s. In 2017, Hodgson received the J. Dudley Johnston Award from the Royal Photographic Society, given for photography criticism.

David Bailey, Francis Hodgson, Benedikt Taschen

Limited SUMO Edition. Hardcover, numbered and signed by David Bailey, 50 x 70 cm, 440 pages, with a bookstand designed by Marc Newson. Each edition comes with a set of four book jackets featuring John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Jean Shrimpton, Mick Jagger, and Andy Warhol.

Edition of 2,700. £ 2,250. ISBN 978-3-8365-5810-5 (English)

The editor:

Benedikt Taschen is the founder and managing director of TASCHEN. He started his professional life at age 18 in a 25-square-foot store in his native Cologne, Germany, which he named TASCHEN COMICS. By the end of the 1980s, TASCHEN titles were available in over a dozen languages at prices that finally made art books affordable for students and collectors alike—still the publishing house’s credo to this day. Other SUMO titles he has published include: Helmut Newton, Salgado’s Genesis, David Hockney, The Greatest of All Time, The Rolling Stones and Annie Leibovitz. He lives in Los Angeles and Berlin.

Courtesy, Press Release: TASCHEN.

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12201110088?profile=originalThe magazine print sector has been hit extremely hard over the last ten years, with closures and cutbacks, but it's not all doom and gloom. Small, specialist magazines have found a way of surviving independently of the media giants. Most of the new photography magazines that are starting up are however, devoted to contemporary work and are focused on aesthetics, ideology and critical theory.  

The Classic is different, the only magazine of its kind. It's devoted to the market for classic photography. The term used to be applied to certain styles of photography and the venerated names in the history of the medium. These days, it's used as a moniker for just about everything that isn't contemporary photography. The Classic is also free, available at photography fairs and selected distribution points in the major cities and through subscription.

The magazine was founded on the 17th of December 2018, by Bruno Tartarin, the French dealer and promoter of the biannual fair Photos Discovery, and Michael Diemar, the London-based collector, consultant and writer. Tartarin explains, "I felt that the classic photography market needed a real boost, something substantial. Having thought about it for a while, I decided to start a magazine. While the web is very useful, there is nothing like holding a beautiful magazine in your hands."

12201110854?profile=originalSo why does the classic photography market need a boost? Tartarin says, "When the modern photography market as we know it today was established around 1970, the focus was very much on works from the past, the 19th century, the Avant Garde of the interwar years. Around 2000, the focus changed and contemporary photography became increasingly dominant, at fairs, auctions and in the press. But as a photography dealer with over 20 years experience, I can tell you that it's still the classic photography, the Man Rays and the Gustave Le Grays, that underpins the whole of the photography market and gives it credibility."

 It seems somewhat extravagant to make it a free magazine but as Tartarin explains, "My ambition is to bring new people to the market, as well as rekindle enthusiasm among established collectors. There is no entrance fee at my fair, Photos Discovery, and I felt that the same spirit should be applied to the magazine."

Tartarin asked Michael Diemar to create the new magazine from scratch. Diemar says, "Bruno gave me a completely free hand, with regards to both its name and contents. I decided to call it The Classic, it described what it was about and was also memorable.  There were a number of things I wanted to avoid. I didn't want it to be an academic journal, nor did I want it to be a promotion brochure, full of articles about "golden investment opportunities" and graphs showing market expansion and price increases for individual artists. Because it wasn't the investment opportunities that turned me into a photography collector many years ago. It was the images, the prints, the Polaroids, the cased images, the wonder of the photographic object. And while books and museum exhibitions taught me a lot, they didn't provide me with nearly enough of the information I needed to operate as a collector. That information came from all the conversations I had with dealers, collectors, curators, auction experts, conservators, archivists, editors etc. And it's those kinds of conversations I have tried to replicate in the magazine."

12201110501?profile=originalThe first issue of The Classic has lengthy interviews with leading names in classic photography, Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photography at The Victoria & Albert Museum, David Fahey of Fahey/Klein Gallery about The Dennis Hopper Archive, the 19th century photography dealer Robert Hershkowitz about his career and his exhibition "The Essential Roger Fenton", Alex Novak about his collection of early negatives and Christophe Goeury, the French independent auction specialist. In addition, there are articles about exhibitions, processes, conservation issues, book reviews and more.

Getting the content right was a balancing act Diemar says, "The magazine had to be of interest to experienced collectors as well as first-time buyers. With regards to the latter, I didn't want to clog up the pages with basic but essential information, explaining the difference between "vintage print", "printed later" and "posthumous", supplying mounting and framing advice etc. I would have had to include that information in every issue. Instead, all that information will be supplied under "resources" on our website."

The Classic will be launched in the US at AIPAD, New York City 3-7 April
In France at Photos Discovery, Paris 13 April
In the UK at The Special Edition of The London Photograph Fair, 18-19 May

For more information:

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12201111472?profile=originalThe National Trust is seeking a Project Curator in photography. Our ambition to curate at a national scale and develop our research priorities has seen us provide more investment to our collections.

The National Trust has outstanding collections in photography, across a wide range of properties. As the Project Curator you will use your experience in the field of photography and your expertise in curation and collections management to raise the profile of our excellent collections, a significant number of which are un-catalogued.

You will raise the profile of our photography collections, developing and supporting cataloguing and conservation programmes, research projects and contributing to publishing, exhibition and display projects. It's an ambitious plan and we need you to have significant experience to help us achieve our goals.

See more here

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12201111695?profile=originalA forgotten treasure trove of Victorian photographs showing the construction of parts of one of Scotland’s most important pieces of infrastructure has been unearthed. The Katrine Aqueduct, which takes water to treatment works that supply 1.3 million people in Glasgow and west central Scotland, was built in the Victorian era to help transform the health of citizens and continues in full use to this day.

As modern day engineers are starting a multi-million pound refurbishment project on part of the aqueduct, the recently-discovered photos provide a fascinating insight into the mega-structure which was officially opened by Queen Victoria almost 160 years ago in October 1859.

The glass lantern slides, which have not been seen before by Scottish Water experts with decades of experience of working on the local water network, were recovered from a skip along with some books and drawings when the utility was closing one of its offices.

They include remarkable images of pioneers boring through rocky mountainsides with drills during the construction of the 23.5 mile-long second aqueduct which began in 1885 and was completed in 1901 to increase capacity and meet demand as the population of Glasgow burgeoned to more than one million.

12201111881?profile=originalThe aqueduct scheme, comprising the two aqueducts, takes water by gravity from Loch Katrine to the Milngavie and Balmore water treatment works before it is distributed to customers across a large swathe of Glasgow and west central Scotland. The first aqueduct includes tunnels through mountainous terrain in the shadow of Ben Lomond and bridges over the valleys. The second aqueduct was constructed to accommodate the rapid expansion of Glasgow in the late 19th century. The two are as much as six miles apart on some stretches.

The remarkable images, which are inspiring Scottish Water workers on the modern-day £12.5 million project to refurbish part of the overall aqueduct scheme, include:

  • Endrick Valley picture showing a close-up of the three trunk mains of the old aqueduct and the supports for the new aqueduct near Balfron.
  • Craigmaddie trench showing workers excavating a trench for the new aqueduct near Craigmaddie reservoir.
  • Katrine tunnelling 1892 showing workers tunnelling through rock with machinery to prop up the ceiling of the excavation. The two last pictures would give modern-day health and safety officials sleepless nights   
  • Steam engine showing a steam engine and horse used by workers to transport and move materials
  • Steam engine workers Mugdock showing workers using a large steam-driven trencher for digging trenches

And, from later in the aqueduct project, Loch Arklet pulley system showing a pulley system used by workers to take materials from the Inversnaid area of Loch Lomond to Loch Arklet where a dam was built as part of the Katrine Aqueduct project and siteline worker showing one of many observatories which were constructed along the route of the aqueduct which were up to about 60ft high and were used by workers operating theodolite-like devices to measure and check the route of the aqueduct. ie siteline worker viewing showing a worker doing so from a smaller observation post.

Steven Walker, a leakage field technician with Scottish Water who discovered the photographs with a colleague, said: “I found these fragile glass slides from the construction of mainly the second aqueduct in a skip when we were moving to new offices. They were in two boxes or cases among all sorts of items that were to be thrown out. I suspected they were of interest but their true historical value was only confirmed when a colleague who works for us in the Loch Katrine area analysed them. The pictures give a fascinating insight into the construction of the second aqueduct and some of the methods used which might appear archaic, and even dangerous, to us now but were the ‘new technology’ of the day at that time.

I like to think that the heart of Glasgow is not George Square or somewhere else in the city centre but 8.5 miles to the north in Milngavie where the two aqueducts end. The boom in shipbuilding that helped Glasgow ‘flourish’ was able to happen only because of the two amazing aqueducts that bring water from Loch Katrine to the two reservoirs at Milngavie and the water treatment works there.

It’s remarkable to think that the first aqueduct was so successful, and Glasgow grew so quickly, that within 30 years they had to repeat the process and build a second aqueduct to double the output. These pictures are an important part of that story and I’m delighted we were able to save them.

In the construction of the second aqueduct, the engineers were able to take a more direct line because they had available improved boring and blasting equipment. When the second aqueduct was constructed, the pneumatic drill and gelignite were available and progress was much more rapid than during the first aqueduct, increasing from 35 to 44 yards per month.

The possession of more efficient plant enabled the engineers, by tunnelling, to take a straighter line through the hills in the construction of the second aqueduct. This meant only eight bridges were required on the second aqueduct compared with 22 on the first.

The entire Katrine Aqueduct scheme cost £3.2m to build which would be about £320m in today’s prices.

The current refurbishment project on the Katrine Aqueduct is expected to be completed in 2020 and is being carried out for Scottish Water by contractors George Leslie. It includes structural repairs of three stretches of tunnel and a bridge, improvements to the lining of tunnels and repairs and refurbishments of control valves.

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12201108674?profile=originalWhen, in 1982, Fred Gandolfi decided to close the family camera-making business, photographer Ken Griffiths thought the Peckham workshop, and the Gandolf’s unique way of of life should be recorded for posterity. Joined by his brother David as cinematographer and supported by a passionate team of film-makers and photographers, they crafted a nostalgic feature film of startling beauty, recording the passing of the old Victorian industry.

At last, after a new 2K high resolution scan & sound-track enhancement, the film will be available on DVD for general distribution. Produced in the DigiPak format, the DVD package is an elegantly designed collectible production, including a 36 page booklet featuring many of Ken’s pictures, the making of the film, and Fred Gandolfi’s own description of their camera making techniques.

DVD Price: £ 15.95 Inc VAT + P&P £ 2.50 Inc VAT for UK Highlands & Islands. 

See more and order here.

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12201108701?profile=originalThe London Stereoscopic Society is presenting two 3D talks on different aspects of stereoscopy. 

Derby, Saturday 13 April 2019 at 6.00 pm

This event takes place at QUAD as part of FORMAT19

The stereoscope: a magic carpet and a time machine rolled into one.

At a time when there was no television, cinema, phone or internet, there was … the Stereoscope ! Invented before photography but really introduced to the public during the Great Exhibition of 1851 the stereoscope had a slow start before becoming the object of a real craze from 1855 onwards. This magical instrument opened a window onto a world few Victorians could afford to see for real. It enabled the middle class to visit virtually, in 3-D,  all the famous sights they had read about or seen as woodcuts in illustrated magazines, without any of the risks attached to travelling and without leaving the comfort of their homes. To the present viewer the stereoscope doubles as a wonderful time machine which takes them not only there but also back then. Come and see Dickens, Napoleon III, Brunel, Queen Victoria and many other famous and anonymous Victorians as they really were and as you have never seen them before.

12201109879?profile=originalOxford, Saturday 27 April 2019, 2.00 to 2.50 pm  and 3.00 to 3.50 pm

Join photo historians for an activity day exploring Victorian Oxford and the wonders of 3D vision. Find out what historical photos can reveal, make your own lift-the-flap model of the brain, and dress up for a Victorian selfie.

Lecture Theatre, Blackwell Hall, Weston Library

Victorian Oxford through the Stereoscope

Between 1857 and 1860 the firm Spiers and Son, from 102 & 103 High Street, Oxford, commissioned some of the most famous stereo photographers of the period to document Oxford for the Stereoscope. Using original negatives from the Weston Library archives and positive prints from Dr Brian May’s collection, photo historian Denis Pellerin will take you on a journey back in time through the streets of Oxford. Denis will explain how the images were taken and will show you how you can easily emulate Oxford photographers of a bygone era with a simple smartphone app. Step into the 3-D images, visit Oxford ‘in depth’ as it was then, meet one of the very first photo bombers, and discover the city of ‘Spiers’ as you’ve never seen it before.

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12201110695?profile=originalThe V&A is the world's leading museum of art and design. We enrich people's lives by promoting the practice of design and increasing knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the designed world.

The Conservation Department fulfills a major role in helping the Museum deliver its wider objectives. It has a worldwide reputation for the excellence of its practical work, for innovative ideas and for pioneering the scientific and ethical approach to conservation, also for sharing this expertise.

You should have a recognised qualification in Photographs and/or Paper Conservation and suitable working experience to demonstrate the ability to work largely independently.

You will be expected to bring a portfolio with 2 – 3 examples of your work to the interview.

Closing date for applications - Sunday, 31 March 2019, by midnight

Interviews to be held Wednesday, 10th April 2019

See more here:

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12201104659?profile=originalA collection of Victorian stereoviews of Clifton Suspension Bridge and other significant bridges from across the globe are being conserved and digitised thanks to support from The Murless Fund (SANHS) and the Aurelius Charitable Trust. 

In 2018 the archives of Adrian Andrews - an expert in the history of engineering and of the Clifton Suspension Bridge - were donated to the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust. Within the archives was a collection of over two hundred stereoscopic photographic cards, one hundred of which feature the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge area. Stereoscopic views were immensely popular from the late 1850s onwards. The technique uses two photographs taken from slightly different angles to replicate human vision; when seen through a viewer the illusion of a 3-D image is created. Within the Collection are images showing the Clifton Suspension Bridge’s abandoned towers and its completion from 1862 to 1864. These offer a rare visual record of its construction. The photographs show workmen atop the towers hauling up 24ft-long wrought iron links, and jib cranes, scaffolding, and other equipment taking materials up and across the Avon Gorge.

Once conserved, the images will be made available via our website in April. If you would like to see the collection and hear more about the project, then pop into the Visitor Centre at 2pm on Wednesday 10th April to meet the archivist and see the collection in person.  For more information about the project please contact Hannah Little, Archivist, email:

Find out more about the project here:

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12201104061?profile=originalDramatic photos taken at the height of the Handsworth Riots are to appear on billboards across the city this month in a project by two of the city's most influential black artists.

Poems by Benjamin Zephaniah will accompany the images taken by Pogus Caesar for Handsworth 1985 Revisited.

The two men - both 'sons of Handsworth' - hope the work will be a stark reminder that anger caused by neglect, poverty and racism can sometimes erupt into violence. 

As Caesar describes it: "A tiny spark can become a gigantic flame". “The conditions I see when I walk around Handsworth and Lozells are very much the same as they were back in 1985.

"Those riots were the result of frustration built up over years of people suffering from poor job prospects, poor housing, poverty, harassment, racism, and a ‘them-and-us’ situation."

The artist was living in Handsworth when the riots erupted in September 1985.

The stunning images he captured at the time on his 35mm Canon camera will feature alongside reflective poems by writer and Handsworth ‘elder statesman’ Zephaniah.

They will be appearing in up to 20 locations around the city centre and on roadsides later this month.

The project, which has been three years in the making, is designed to “stimulate conversation” about the underlying issues of disengagement, deprivation and racism that still stalk the inner city.

 “We hope they will afford a provocative walk through the events of 1985 and a sobering, timely reminder of how easily ignorance, inequality and justice begets social unrest,” Caesar said.

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Was Lord Balgonie shell-shocked?

12201102480?profile=originalBecause of the facial expressions of some soldiers photographed by Roger Fenton in 1855 during the Crimean War, it was suggested by Richard Pare in the 2004 book All the Mighty World that they may have been suffering from what we now call shell-shock. Pare drew particular attention to Fenton’s portrait of Captain Lord Balgonie (see below). In the picture, Balgonie is said to look older than his 23 years and has what have been called haunted eyes with a distant stare (see right).

In 2015, a review of an exhibition of salt prints in the Tate Gallery in Culture Whisper contained the sentence ‘Photography ….. enabled Roger Fenton to capture the shattered and shell-shocked look of soldiers in the Crimean War’. The Balgonie portrait has been described by Taylor Downing in his 2016 book entitled Breakdown: The Crisis of Shell Shock on the Somme as the ‘face of shell shock’. In addition, Sophie Gordon in 2017 in Shadows of War regarded the portrait as a ‘tragic depiction’ of Balgonie, who she described as looking dishevelled, unfocused and appearing to suffer from shell shock.

People photographed by Fenton usually had sombre expressions and often looked into the distance away from the camera. Captain Henry Verschoyle, who was a Grenadier Guards hero, was also captured by Fenton with a similar look in his eyes. To me, Balgonie looks tired. He could also have been suffering from an ailment caught during the harsh Crimean winter of 1854-55. He appears no more ‘dishevelled’ than many others photographed at the time by Fenton. Hair was worn long by many in those days and Balgonie had probably just got off his house after riding to Fenton’s make-shift studio in Balaklava.

In a letter home in April 1855, Fenton reported that ‘My hut seems to be the rendezvous of all the Colonels and Captains in the army, everybody drops in every day and I can scarcely get time to work for questions nor eat for work’. It seems to me that Balgonie may have dropped in on Fenton like many of his contemporaries. Shell shock is a term used for those who break down under the stress of war and I doubt if a broken man would go to Fenton’s hut out of curiosity to see what went on there and to have his portrait taken?

Balgonie was born in 1831 and served in the Grenadier Guards in Crimea. He was present at the major battles of the Alma, Balaklava and Inkerman in 1854. His obituary in the Dundee, Perth and Cupar Advertiser on 4 September 1857 reads:

He might have returned home with perfect honour long before the close of the Crimean campaign - many a stronger but less chivalrous and less sensitively honourable man did so – but he resolutely remained at his post till the downfall of Sebastopol although there is little doubt that his doing so, amid all the hardships and exposure of camp life must have implanted or at least fostered in his constitution, naturally delicate, the seeds of that disease which has prematurely ended a career so hopefully and auspiciously begun. Lord Balgonie, in the autumn 1855, returned to Melville House, the family residence in this county, laden with honours. He had gained all the Crimean medals except Kinburn besides that of the French Legion of Honour. He took ill in a few days after reaching home, and his life has been little more than an alteration of partial recoveries and relapses ever since, all borne with a serenity and patience truly wonderful. Last winter his Lordship went to Egypt in the hope of gaining that improvement in health denied to him in his own country, but the season proved unpropitious there, and in May last he returned to England weaker and more prostrated than he had left it. From that period he gradually sunk until Saturday last, when his solemn change came. In the full flush of autumn beauty, gently and happily he died………

The above mentions that Balgonie was awarded medals for his service in the Crimea and stayed on until after Sevastopol had fallen. It is also known that he undertook the mentally demanding role of an aide-de–camp to General Bentinck, which would have been impossible for him to carry out if he was a broken man. The obituary notes that Balgonie had a weak constitution and implies that he died young because he was worn out by the hardships and privations of the Crimean War. His visit to the dry warm climate of Egypt in winter when ill after the war indicates that he may have had respiratory problems, which he could easily have picked up in the Crimea.

In conclusion, I believe that the hypothesis that Balgonie was or may have been shell-shocked when photographed by Fenton in 1855 is just pure unfounded speculation without any basis in fact. Unfortunately, this shell shock interpretation is now in danger of becoming the accepted truth.


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12201102270?profile=originalI have recently published an open access journal article in Image & Text 32 (2018) on Minna Keene FRPS, drawing from my research into her Life and Career in South Africa between 1903 and 1913. The article can be downloaded here.

Born in Germany in 1861, Minna Keene lived in Cape Town during a prolific phase of her photographic career. Whilst at the Cape (1903-1913) she achieved international acclaim as a pictorialist photographer. Her photographs of South African subject matter were shown at exhibitions across the world. She was quick to recognise opportunities to translate her photographic success into financial profit and was one of very few women to operate a photographic studio in early–twentieth century South Africa. Keene actively circulated reproductions of her photographs as self–published postcards and in popular publications. Through these interventions she made a substantial contribution to popular visual culture at the Cape and was celebrated by local and international audiences. Despite her pioneering status, she has been overlooked in the existing literature on South African photography, and, although she has received limited attention in Euro–American histories of photography, much remains unknown about her life and work, especially in relation to her time in Cape Town. Drawing on multi–sited research, I present a biographical account of Keene which analyses the ambivalent gender politics in her photographs as well as her uncritical adoption of colonial categories of race.

Best wishes,

Malcolm Corrigall

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12201101271?profile=originalStephen Bulger Gallery is presenting Two Generations of Photography, its first exhibition of work by Minna Keene FRPS (b.Arolsen, Germany, 1861; d.Oakville, Canada, 1943) and Violet Keene Perinchief (b.Bath, UK, 1893; d.Oakville, Canada, 1987)

This exhibition brings together two generations of work by famed photographers from the early 20th Century. A mother and daughter who each operated commercial photography studios and excelled in the art of photography while exhibiting their award-winning photographic prints in international salon exhibitions.

This exhibition highlights examples of the different methods of their photographic practice which spans from the 1890s through the 1940s. Minna Keene, née Bergman, lived in Britain, South Africa, and Canada. She emigrated to the United Kingdom between 1870-1880 and married Caleb Keene, a noted painter and decorator. Minna was a member of the London Salon of Photography and in 1908 was the first woman to be admitted as a Fellow to the Royal Photographic Society. She was also asked to join the Linked Ring in the final year of that illustrious circle.

Minna’s first photographic work was of plant life, for which she made exposures during different stages of growth. Later, she made a successful series of ornithological photographs that illustrated English textbooks which remained in use over several decades. In 1903 Minna emigrated to Cape Town, South Africa, and made studies of Boer life while operating an active photography studio and raising two children. She exhibited her photographs of Boer life at the Lyceum Club, London, in April 1907. In 1910 she exhibited in the Fifty-fifth Annual Exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, and again each year until 1929. In 1911 Minna’s photograph of her daughter Violet entitled Pomegranates, was awarded Picture of the Year at the London Photographic Salon.    

In late 1913 the Keene family moved to Canada, first settling in Montréal, and then in Toronto. Minna was practising as a professional photographic portraitist and was commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Railwayto photograph the Rockies in 1914 and 1915. In 1920 she opened a studio in Toronto and then relocated to Oakville in 1922.

In 1926, Minna was featured in a Maclean’s magazine article that mentions the highlights of her career and enthuses about her being a “Home lover!”. In the 1930s Minna continued to exhibit internationally and was assisted in the studio by her daughter Violet who eventually succeeded her, and also became a photographer in demand at the Eaton’s photography studio in Toronto on College Street. While serving as the manager of the Eaton’s photography studio, Violet operated her own portrait studio in Oakville and throughout her career photographed major figures of her time including Aldous HuxleyGeorge Bernard Shaw, Amelia Earhart, W.B Yeats, and The Right Honourable The Earl of Bessborough, 14th Governor General of Canada.

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With thanks to Dr Malcolm Corrigall for bringing the exhibition to BPH's attention. 


Minna Keene
Pomegranates, circa 1910
Carbon print with some details reduced by hand, flush mounted to single-ply period board, mounted to additional single-ply period board
19 ½ x 13 ⅞ inch (48.26 x 35.24 cm) print, board
25 x 19 inch (63.50 x 48.26 cm) original frame
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12201108093?profile=original38 photographs taken by renowned Liverpool photographer, Edward Chambré Hardman in and around his Rodney Street home and studio are to go on display  for the first time, four years after they were discovered by chance in the photographer’s darkroom.

The photos were developed from 23 rolls of film, found in the darkroom of the former studio is now named Hardman House – and managed by the National Trust. During an inventory, the box containing the film rolls was discovered in the Hardman’s cluttered darkroom. Five of the rolls featured pictures that had never been developed or seen by anyone since Hardman pressed the shutter, and, despite having been left in a cardboard box for all that time, they will now for part of an exhibition at the property. They provide a previously unseen glimpse of Hardman’s view of his Georgian Quarter home, neighbours and street scenes.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Southport and Formby National Trust Association, in 2019 these photos will be on display at the Hardmans' House,  giving visitors an insight into the processes used by Hardman, his photography techniques and how much of Hardman’s artistry we have at our fingertips today.

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E Chambre Hardman house :

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I am researching the life and work of my great great grandfather George Willis who was a photographer and early experimenter in photographic processes in Scarborough, Yorkshire. His sons carried on the business after his death in 1890 and unfortunately went bankrupt in 1900. Consequently, nothing from his career was passed down through the family.

I started collecting his photographs in 2007 and now have a good collection of CDVs, Stereoviews , cabinet cards and larger format photographs. I have been collecting research with a view to publishing. He had extensive correspondence with the Photographic News and sent photographs to them and to the Liverpool Amateur Photographic Association. I have been searching for these and would appreciate any help from anyone who could help me to find where they are archived.

George Willis was also engaged by Negretti and Zambra to go to Italy, France and Switzerland on a photographic expedition in 1862 or 1863 (It was reported in some Yorkshire papers in June 1863 but I don't know when he actually went). I would also appreciate any help finding the archive of these photographs as he is reported to have photographed Garibaldi and Layard amongst other 'illustrious personages.'

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12201103279?profile=originalA blog posting by Weitian Liu, an Enlight Foundation scholar, pursuing an MPhil in History of Photography, describes the acquisition of some 900 negatives by James Pugh, AIBP. ARPS. between 1967 and 1972  which have been added to the St Andrews University Special Collection.

The negatives were bought at a car boot sale by the donor and mostly show older buildings and ruins in Scotland: castles, bridges, churches and monuments.

Little is known about the life of the photographer who was a member of the Royal Society of Arts, the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, the Royal Photographic Society and Institute of British Photographers. They have been added recently to the university's catalogue for photographic collections.

Read the full blog here.

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12201101261?profile=originalAre you passionate about connecting museum collections and audiences? Across Science Museum Group, our curatorial team are committed to inspiring futures by sustaining and growing our world-class collection and delivering a creative and bold programme of outputs including exhibitions, galleries, events and online narratives.

To support this vision, we are looking for an Associate Curator of Photography and Photographic Technology to join us at the National Science and Media Museum, in Bradford, on a permanent contract.

In this role, you will work with a dynamic curatorial team to manage, develop, research, interpret and present the photography and photographic technology collections of the National Science and Media Museum.

Joining us, you will bring excellent knowledge of the history of photography; museum collections management experience, strong communications skills, and an ability to tell stories; allowing you to carry out research and work with specialists to communicate authentic stories and reveal wonder.

You will be offered excellent benefits including 25 days annual leave in addition to bank holidays, BUPA medical and dental healthcare, the ability to join our excellent pension scheme, an interest free loan offer and numerous staff discounts whilst developing your career in a world class museum group.

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Click here to view the Vacancy Information Pack which provides details of the role and supporting statement questions.

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12201107680?profile=originalThe next London Photograph Fair Collectors Fair takes place in in new location on Sunday 17th March 2019 at the Hellenic Centre in Marylebone. Exhibitors include: Allsworth Rare Books, Roland Belgrave, Pablo Butcher, Linus Carr, Classic Photographics/Paul Cordes, Daniella Dangoor, Arnaud Delas, James Hong, Diana Howlett, Malcolm, Dr Jens Mattow, Richard Meara, Pump Park Photographs, Hugh Ashley Rayner, Ian Sumner, Lisa Tao, Bruno Tartarin, The Front, Christine Wilhelm and Jason Wright. 

This will be followed by the London Photograph Fair : Special Edition now a Photo London Satellite Event, which takes place Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th May 2019 at Kings College, Strand, next door to Photo London at Somerset House.

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12201101864?profile=originalThis survey from the Photographic Collections Network looks at what is called digital legacy or digital heritage – by which it means the long-term storage, use and display of digital material, particularly photography. The basic research question is: how will people be able to see today's born-digital photography in 100 years time?
The survey aims to identify respondents most pressing needs and concerns in this area, which will inform the PCN's approach to the subject.
The PCN want to hear from you if any of your work involves or is connected to a photo archive or collection, of any size. Whether you are paid or unpaid, freelance or employed, work at an organisation, a photographer, have inherited a collection, or are a private individual concerned about your own photographs.
The survey, which is anonymous, can be completed here:
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