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12201115490?profile=originalUCLA Film & Television Archive, the second-largest archive in the U.S. after the Library of Congress, and the Baker Street Irregulars (BSI), the foremost Sherlock Holmes society in the U.S., are mounting a world-wide search for lost Sherlock Holmes films. Famed actor Robert Downey, Jr., who has portrayed Sherlock Holmes on screen in two films, with a third Holmes film in pre-production, is the Honorary Project Chair.

Entitled Searching for Sherlock: The Game’s Afoot, the two nonprofit organizations plan to contact film archives, Sherlock Holmes societies, film historians, collectors, and other potential sources around the world to find, restore, and eventually screen, films featuring the world’s first consulting detective.

According to Dr. Jan-Christopher Horak, Director of the UCLA Archive, more than 100 films about the iconic British detective are lost or are in need of restoration or preservation. A blue ribbon committee has been formed to lead the search. Also participating are such notables as Nicholas Meyer, author of the book and Oscar-nominated screenplay of The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and a leading silent film historian, Kevin Brownlow.

12201116279?profile=originalArthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is one of the most popular characters in all literature. The Victorian detective has made the leap countless times from the printed page to the motion picture and television screens. Beginning with his first appearance in “A Study in Scarlet” in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887, Holmes has inspired aficionados internationally and is the most-filmed character in the world.

More than 200 films about the British detective have been produced; the first was “Sherlock Holmes Baffled,” a 30-second motion picture released originally for arcade Mutoscope machines in 1900 and copyrighted in 1903.

Among the lost films are: a British production of A Study in Scarlet, produced in 1914; a Danish series, produced by Nordisk films, beginning in 1908; The Missing Rembrandt, produced in 1932, starring Arthur Wontner; and many more.

Spearheading the search is Archive Board and BSI member Barbara Roisman Cooper. For further information about the project or suggestions regarding the search please contact her at

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12201103089?profile=originalThe Madeira Museum of Photography - Atelier Vicente's - the only museum in Portugal entirely dedicated to photography, reopened on 29 July, after a five years and 1.7 million euros of work.

We are talking about a nineteenth-century photography studio, the oldest in the country, which has gone through four generations of the same family. We are talking about a heritage that says a lot to the Madeirans, was part of the daily life and experience of Madeira” said Paula Cabaco, the Secretary of Tourism and Culture.

Vicente's Atelier, now renamed the Madeira Museum of Photography, was founded in 1863 by Vicente Gomes da Silva and remained operational until 1978, when the building, in the centre of Funchal, and the estate, with more than 1.5 million negatives were acquired by the Regional Government of Madeira.

In 1866, three years after the opening of the house, Vicente Gomes da Silva received the title of photographer of the Empress of Austria, Isabel of Bavaria, the mythical Sissi, and in 1903, the photographer of the Portuguese Royal House, which also contributed more for its importance, making its studio one of the best equipped of the nineteenth century 

The space was opened to the public in 1982 as a museum and in 2014 it closed for works, with the executive investing 1.2 million euros in the rehabilitation of the building and 500 thousand euros, with a community contribution of 85%, in the restoration and safeguarding of the collection.

The space reopens with a temporary exhibition, until October, entitled Treasures of Portuguese Photography from the 19th century , while maintaining a permanent exhibition representing the various authors included in the collection, which is part of the collection of practically every large house. Madeirans of photography of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The Secretary of Tourism and Culture highlighted the investment made in the “faithful reconstruction” of the studio, namely in terms of furniture, props, laboratory material and cameras, indicating that visitors will even be able to be photographed with scenes of the time. Paula Cabaço explained that the studio's reconstitution also includes a presentation of the history of photographic processes, from the daguerreotype to the first colour photographs, through the magic lantern devices and stereoscopy (immersive format then very fashionable in the 19th century, which gives the feeling within the image even though it was too far from the current 3D effect).

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12201110655?profile=originalIn a Facebook post the chemist and photographic historian Dr Mike Ware confirmed that he had donated his library to the John Rylands library, Manchester. Ware has applied his background as a chemist and scientist to photographic history, particularly on a series of projects at the then National Media Museum and most recently on the platinum process. The library will be cataloguing the books after which they will be made available. 

Ware's biography reads as below:

Dr MIKE WARE graduated in chemistry at the University of Oxford (1962), where he subsequently obtained his doctorate in molecular spectroscopic research (1965). He has followed a career in academic science, lecturing and researching in structural and inorganic chemistry at the University of Manchester (1964-92); becoming a Chartered Chemist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (1982).

He is now independently committed to studying the science, history, conservation, and art of alternative photographic processes. A Kodak Photographic Bursary (1984) initially supported his research on printing in noble metals, which was recognised by the award of the Hood Medal of the Royal Photographic Society (1990), of which he was a Fellow, and by the Richard Farrand Memorial Award of the British Institute of Professional Photographers (1991).

Dr Ware has acted as a consultant to the National Media Museum, Bradford, England, and has supervised postgraduate research in photograph conservation at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal College of Art, and in alternative photographic processes at the University of Derby. He was the first External Examiner for the new M.A. course in Photographic Studies at De Montfort University. He has acted as a scientific advisor to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, and in 2016 he was awarded the Special Recognition of Allied Professionals by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

The results of his technical research on improving historic processes, such as the platinotype, palladiotype, cyanotype and chrysotype, have been published in both the scientific and popular literature, and he is the inventor of the new argyrotype process (1991). Several historical studies he has made of early photography have appeared in the academic periodical, History of Photography. The conservation of the first photographs on paper, photogenic drawings by Henry Talbot, is the subject of his book Mechanisms of Image Deterioration in Early Photographs (1994), and the Cyanotype process invented by Sir John Herschel is dealt with in his book Cyanotype: the History, Science and Art of photographic printing in Prussian Blue (1999) – both published by the Science Museum, London. His latest monographs are Gold in Photography and The Chrysotype Manual (2006).  By way of a counterbalance to scholarly activity, he is also an exhibiting photographer, and since 1981 has shown his personal work widely in galleries in Europe, the USA and Australia; examples have been acquired for several national collections.

He has conducted specialist workshops and masterclasses in alternative printing techniques throughout the world, and has appeared on BBC Televison in the Open University series ‘The Chemistry of Creativity’ (1995). Regarding photography as an ideal meeting ground for science and art, his ambition is to bridge the gap between the Two Cultures by harnessing chemical science to enhance the art of photographic expression.

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12201102677?profile=originalThirlestane Castle will showcase a new photography exhibition featuring works by Frederick Maitland, the 14th Earl of Lauderdale (18658-1931), curated by Sam Cornwell. The exhibition will be displayed in a new event space, the 'Vaulted Cellars' at Thirlestane Castle, Lauder, Scotland.

The exhibition will showcase some of the early printing techniques used by this prolific photographer at the turn of the last century as well as pre-Photoshop examples of edited images. The Earl was a member of the Royal Photographic Society who exhibited widely and wrote extensively about photography. The Castle holds a large collection of his work. 

As well as never before seen images there will also be a selection of his more vernacular work to give audiences a taster of the Earl’s broad range of photographic skills.

The exhibition will be open from 10am daily and is included in the normal admission to the castle.

See more here:

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12201113287?profile=originalPrevious post-photographic discourses have primarily focused on the transformations of photographic images. In the framework of our research on post-photographic practices, we invite academics and practitioners to adopt a different approach here and assume that photography is not primarily a technique to produce images, but rather an entanglement with a specific kind of apparatus. Against the background of growing complexity of media practices, our question is: has the very apparatus as much as our conception of it changed?

The workshop wants to address this question from three perspectives: technologically, the digitization of cameras has turned them into computers with attached sensors, and former functions of the hardware are increasingly simulated by software. The construction of a camera nowadays requires less domain knowledge, which has enabled companies from different fields to introduce new camera models and disrupt a previously relatively stable ecosystem. At the same time, many artists have questioned the tool of their photographic practices by turning self-created cameras into artworks in their own rights. Artists like Trevor Paglen (“seeing machines”), Hito Steyerl (“proxy politics”), Aïm Deüelle Lüski (“threshold as place”) and David Claerbout (“dark optics”) have also been driving forces in the discussion of post-photographic cameras.

Finally, a theoretical critique of modernism (of which traditional photography has been an integral part), along with posthumanistic understandings of agency and technology (Karen Barad, Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour), have helped to blur what used to be the separate concepts of the camera, photographer and image. Hence, cameras can no longer be understood as black boxes/cameras obscuras. We need to re-assess them as nodes in larger media ecological networks.

We welcome papers by researchers and artists on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Artistic practices involving camera constructions, modifications or dissolutions
  • New camera concepts and photographic practices in everyday life
  • Media archaeologies of the camera
  • The photographer’s body as a counterpart to the camera
  • The camera in posthuman photography
  • Theoretical approaches to the changing concepts of medium and authorship

The workshop is organized by the SNF research group Post-photography at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The conference language is English. Paper proposals (abstract of up to 300 words and CV) for 20-minute talks should be sent to birk.weiberg@hslu.chby 31 Aug 2019. Accommodation and travel allowance will be provided.

For any inquiries, please contact: Birk Weiberg, or WolfgangBrückle, 

For the SNSF Post-photography research group, see 

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12201119066?profile=originalA one day symposium on the topic of science and photography. It will look at how photographs are used in scientific research; how and why we have photographed the human body; what scientific innovations advanced the photographic medium in the early development of photography; and how historic processes are being applied to science and contemporary research.

The symposium is presented in conjunction with the 2019 St Andrews Photography Festival which runs throughout October.

See the full programme here SandP%20Symposium%20Programme%2023-10-19.pdf and book a place by 16 October here:

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12201108056?profile=originalAt a ceremony today an English Heritage blue plaque to the photographer Camille Silvy (1834-1910) and the painter John Linnell (1792-1882) was unveiled on the outside of 38 Porchester Terrace, Bayswater, London W2. The building was Silvy's former studio.

12201108464?profile=originalThe unveiling brought together photographic historians and curators from many of the major British photography collections to hear Mark Haworth-Booth (shown bottom, left), the former V&A Museum curator of photography and author of Camille Silvy: Photographer of Modern Life 1834–1910 and Camille Silvy River Scene, France and Paul Frecker (shown bottom, right), the dealer and collector, talk 12201109054?profile=originalabout SIlvy and his studio. The blue plaque was unveiled by Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A (shown right). 

Camille-Léon-Louis Silvy (born Nogent-le-Rotrou, France, 1834; died Saint-Maurice, France, 1910) was a French photographer, primarily active in London.

He learned photography from his friend, Count Olympe Aguado, in 1857,[1] and became a member of the Société française de photographie in 1858. He then moved to London and opened a portrait studio at 38 Porchester Terrace, Bayswater, becoming a member of the Photographic Society in 1859. Sitters in Silvy's portraits include Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, Queen Emma of Hawaii, Lady Amberley, Harriet Martineau, Adelina Patti, Sara Forbes Bonetta and Frederick Robson. He also photographed many members of the British royal family. 12201109277?profile=originalThe National Portrait Gallery, London, holds his studio's daybooks, which include details of some 17,000 sittings, with about 12,000 of these showing an image from the sitting.

He closed his studio and returned to France in 1868. He himself believed that his nervous system had been damaged by exposure to potassium cyanide in the darkroom but it more likely that he suffered from manic depression. The last thirty years of his life were spent in a succession of hospitals, sanatoria and convalescent homes. Read more at:

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12201111693?profile=originalThis exhibition is dedicated to the collection of photographic works collected by Martin Parr. The photographer, a fervent defender of books, constituted a rich library of more than 12,000 books. Reflecting his particular vision, this colossal collection brings together books of great diversity  collected around the world.

Collaborative project between Les Rencontres, LUMA and Tate Modern, this project highlights 50 works published between 1969 and 2018. The selection reveals a rich panel of artists who have marked photography in many ways. Whether form or content, this selection shows photography in its multi-disciplinarity: humanist photographers, conceptual, photojournalists, but also visual artists and fashion photographers etc.

This panorama of great visual and artistic richness is a tribute to the book as an object a crucial vector of the artistic and socio-political ideals of our time. To dedicate an exhibition to books in 2019 is to claim the importance and the modernity of this medium notwithstanding our time when the virtual is king. Because of its experimental nature and counterpoint to the dissemination of mass images, the book is considered by many photographers to be the most significant vehicle for displaying their work. Essential tool to communicate their vision to the greatest number, the book is still underestimated today in the history of photography.

See more here.

Mécanique Générale

until 22 September 2019

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12201111461?profile=originalThe National Trust for Scotland is pleased to invite papers for the Second Morton Photography Symposium, to be held on Thursday 2 April 2020 at Glasgow Women’s Library, titled 'Ways of Seeing': Women and Photography in Scotland.

The Trust’s major photographic collections feature many women as takers, collectors, preservers or subjects. Prominent examples include the c.6,000 images taken by folklorist Margaret Fay Shaw, the family albums compiled by Violet May Brodie (née Hope) and the hundreds of photographs collected and kept by Glaswegian Miss Agnes Toward, all of which frequently depict women. These photographs show Scottish women in many lights – artist and model, wife and socialite, mother and sister, amateur and academic.

The images of these women breathe life into our places and can help institutions like the Trust improve at putting women of all backgrounds at the centre of the stories we tell about our history. The aim of this symposium is to explore how photography is used to tell women’s stories. We are particularly interested in how this is done in historic houses and heritage/museum spaces, and intend to challenge the existing display and interpretation practices of these institutions. We are also especially interested in photographs taken by Scottish women or depicting women’s lives in Scotland, as well as photographs where the absence of women can tell stories of their overlooked and marginalised lives.

Proposals are welcomed for papers on any of the above themes, or in response to any of the questions below:

  • How has the camera impacted the representation of Scottish women or women in Scotland?
  • How has photography by women illuminated the stories of marginalised women?
  • What are (especially Scottish) women’s unique ‘ways of seeing’ the world through the camera lens?
  • How has the camera been used to objectify women in Scotland, or Scottish women abroad?
  • How have women photographers in Scotland, or Scottish women abroad, taken control of their own image?
  • How does gendering the ‘woman photographer’ position them as ‘other’?
  • Where are the women in our public photographic collections?
  • Where are the women of colour in our public photographic collections, and what are the consequences of
    their absence to our national identity?
  • How are photographs being used (or failing to be used) to tell women’s stories in museum and heritage
    institutions, including historic houses?
  • How has photography by Scottish women or women in Scotland been collected or displayed in the past?

As well as full-length papers, we welcome proposals for the Shutter Speed Session that will take place during the symposium. This will be a quick-fire series of 5-minute talks followed by questions.  We intend to publish the proceedings in a special edition of Studies, the journal of the Scottish Society for the History of Photography.

Please send a proposed title and abstract of 200-300 words for a 20-25-minute paper (or 100 words for a 5-6 minute paper for the Shutter Speed Session) to Ben Reiss at by Friday 11 October. Please note if you would be happy for your proposal to be considered for either format.

Prospective speakers at any stage of their career and from any personal or professional background are encouraged to submit. We particularly welcome submissions from women across race, gender identity, disability, class and sexuality. Travel bursaries may be made available to full-time students, people not in work or those on a low income. Any enquiries about delivering a paper or attending the symposium may also be directed to Ben at the above address, or phone 07864 918969.

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12201107092?profile=originalSince it was established Luminous-Lint has become one of the go-to online resources for photographic history bringing together a diverse range of images and texts and presenting them through curated content.  

Photohistory is a complex blending of biographical, technical and thematic information. Photographs and archival research materials are scattered between thousands of collections with different perspectives and cataloging standards. The traditional model of monographs and articles based on exhibitions is now being questioned by Internet based resources that bring together information from thousands of sources to create repositories of knowledge (i.e. Daguerreobase) or broader frameworks to examine the whole of photohistory (Luminous-Lint). In this talk we'll examine the progress of Luminous-Lint so far and the opportunities for collaborative research based on images from over 3,300 distinct collections.

Alan Griffiths, Luminous-Lint's founder will be talking about the website on 6 September at the Royal Photographic Society. See more here and book:

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John Thomson's grave restored

12201105090?profile=originalThe restoration of the grave of John Thomson, one of the earliest photographers working in China and the Far East was commemorated today in front of an audience of twenty-five people.

The location of Thomson's grave was previously unknown until it was tracked down by photographic historian Terry Bennett and a crowdfunding campaign, led by Betty Yao MBE, raised the funds to reinstate the headstone which had fallen over and to restore the lettering had become illegible. The event was attended by photo-historians, photographers, local historians, archivists and three of Thomson's descendants.

12201105262?profile=originalThomson photographed the people, landscapes and monuments across a large part of south east Asia, resulting in an important series of books describing the places he visited and his own experiences. His grave in Streatham Cemetery was lost for many years.

Betty Yao commented: “John Thomson’s photographs provide a rich and lasting visual record of the Far East. It is fitting that we restore his grave as a renewed memorial to the man and his work”.

Thomson, was born in Edinburgh in 1837 and died in London in 1921. He is widely acclaimed as one of the best photographers of China of the period. On his return to London in 1872 he ran a successful portrait studio gaining the royal 12201105869?profile=originalwarrant in 1881. He was a member of the Photographic Society from 1879.  Thomson also acted as the principal photography teacher for the Royal Geographical Society, training a new generation of travellers and explorers in photography.

His most important publications were Illustrations of China and Its People (1873/4) and Street Life in London (with Adolphe Smith, 1877).

He retired in 1910 and spent most of time in Edinburgh where he continued to write about photography.


Images: top: Terry Bennett; Betty Yao; the assembled group. © Michael Pritchrd. 

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12201112098?profile=originalThe Moon has always inspired photographers, from Bond and Whipple’s first daguerreotype exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851 to the work of James Nasmyth and James Carpenter, who frustrated by the technical difficulties of photographing the moon with wet collodion plates resorted to building large scale plaster models, which were lit for dramatic emphasis and photographed.  The resulting book The Moon considered as a Planet, a world and a Satelite published in 1874 is an intriguing publication. Taking a photographic perspective.

This talk gives an insight into how capturing the Moon has been challenging, even for astronauts, during the race for space.

To book place click here

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12201116459?profile=originalOne of the earliest travel photographers in Asia, John Thomson, who travelled extensively across China, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, in the 1860s and early 1870s, is being honoured at a ceremony on Saturday, 13 July 2019 which will celebrate his newly restored grave.

Thomson photographed the people, landscapes and monuments across a large part of south east Asia, resulting in an important series of books describing the places he visited and his own experiences. His grave in Streatham Cemetery which was lost for many years until its rediscovery by Terry Bennett has been restored following a crowdfunded project led by Betty Yao MBE.

Betty Yao commented: “John Thomson’s photographs provide a rich and lasting visual record of the Far East. It is fitting that we restore his grave as a renewed memorial to the man and his work”.

Thomson, was born in Edinburgh in 1837 and died in London in 1921. He is widely acclaimed as one of the best photographers of China of the period. On his return to London in 1872 he ran a successful portrait studio gaining the royal warrant in 1881. He was a member of the Royal Photographic Society from 1879.  Thomson also acted as the principal photography teacher for the Royal Geographical Society, training a new generation of travellers and explorers in photography.

His most important publications were Illustrations of China and Its People (1873/4) and Street Life in London (with Adolphe Smith, 1877).

He retired in 1910 and spent most of time in Edinburgh where he continued to write about photography.

The commemoration will take place in Streatham Cemetery, Garratt Lane, Tooting, London, SW17 0LT (lot 545, block F) at 11.00am, Saturday 13th July 2019. Everyone is welcome. The nearest underground station is Tooting Broadway, followed by a 10-15 short walk or buses 44, 77, 270, G1 (Streatham Cemetery stop). Afterwards, there will be celebratory drinks in a nearby pub to which everyone is invited. 

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12201103680?profile=originalA photograph taken by James Robertson or his assistant Felice Beato entitled Head Quarters shows the British Army Headquarters outside Sevastopol in the Crimea. In front of the building is a man standing beside a tripod (see right). The Royal Collection Trust has the following description of the image on its website:

Photograph of the British Headquarters during the Crimean War. The building is a whitewashed bungalow with a tiled roof. Several horses and soldiers stand outside the building. A man, possibly the photographer Roger Fenton, stands beside a tripod to the left. A camp can be seen on the hillside behind the house.

The information about the identity of the man beside the tripod comes from a 1939 sales catalogue, which was advertising the copy of Head Quarters that had been owned by William Howard Russell, the war correspondent for The Times in the Crimea. However, was the man in the image Fenton or was the wording in the sales catalogue just a means of increasing the photograph’s perceived value to justify its price?

From evidence found in the subjects of their photographs, Robertson and Beato most likely landed in the Crimea on their first visit from Constantinople sometime in June 1855. Fenton’s only visit from England was from 8 March to 22 June 1855. Therefore, it is likely that the three were in the Crimea at the same time for only a possible maximum of 3 weeks in June 1855. There is no mention of any meeting with Robertson or Beato in Fenton’s detailed letters home. There is also no proof that Head Quarters was taken by Robertson or Beato in June 1855. However, there is evidence to suggest that it wasn’t.

Fenton’s portraits taken outside the headquarters building, which we know was on 6 June 1855, show trees to be in full leaf. However, the same trees in front of the building in Head Quarters are either leafless or have few leaves (see above and below). This indicates that the Robertson/Beato image was taken either in winter or early spring, but not in June. This is strong evidence that the man standing by the tripod in Head Quarters is not Roger Fenton.

The author believes that Head Quarters may have been taken in March 1856 during Robertson/Beato's second visit to the Crimea. They have another image taken at this time entitled South View of English Army Headquarters showing the other side of the  building with a leafless tree in the background.


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