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V&A Photography Centre - update

12201224861?profile=originalIan Mansfield has published two visuals from V&A planning documents showing the new V&A Photography Centre space which opens to the public on 25 May. The Art Newspaper also carries renderings of the new space.  Separately the Royal Photographic Society's Journal (May-June 2023) carries interviews with key people connected with the new galleries. 

See Mansfield's blog here:

The Art Newspaper piece can be seen here.

The RPS Journal is available to RPS members only 

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12201223052?profile=originalThe National Stereoscopic Association is pleased to announce its fourth annual "Sessions on the History of Stereoscopic Photography" at the 49th 3D-Con in Buffalo, New York. Presentations are welcome on any aspect of stereo-media from the inception of stereoscopic photography to immersive stereo media. We project stereoscopically on the 3D-Con's big screen, and our growing community of international scholars represent diverse research from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. All stereoscopic photography subjects from the historical to the contemporary are invited.

Please send an abstract of 500-600 words and a biography of 250-300 words and contact information by May 15, 2023.
Notification of acceptance by May 29, 2023.  Digital images will be expected by July 5, 2023.

Call for Papers extended deadline

Sessions on the History of Stereoscopic Photography IV
August 4, 2023
The National Stereoscopic Association’s 3D-Con
The Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel, Buffalo, New York
July 31-August 7, 2023


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12201227861?profile=originalJames Hyman Gallery is pleased to present an online exhibition of early works by Nigel Henderson (1917-1985) that depict street parties in East London at the time of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Photographed near the Henderson's home in Chisenhale Road in Bethnal Green these rare photographs - most of which have never been exhibited before - focus on childhood celebrations and combine casual photographs with amazing group portraits. 

Known for his documentary and experimental photography and imaginative use of collage, Henderson was a founding member of the Independent Group in 1952, with which he regularly exhibited, notably in This Is Tomorrow at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1956).


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Royal Society online resources

12201227464?profile=originalThe Royal Society has made available around 250,000 documents online, covering everything from climate observations, the history of colour, how to conduct electricity, and animals. Of particualar note to BPH readers is correspondence and images sent by William Henry Fox Talbot, Herschel, Claudet and others

You can access the online archive here. We have picked out some of the highlights:

Image: Unpublished paper, 'An account of some recent improvements in photography' by Henry Fox Talbot / ref number: AP/25/13 / date: 1841

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12201219058?profile=originalA rare Kodak advertising sign based on the design of the artist and illustrator Fred Pegram is being sold today at Chippenham Auctions. It is 23 x 33 inches and is estimated at £1000-1500. 


UPDATE: the lot sold for £600 + BP


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12201171292?profile=originalThe V&A is the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance, housing a collection of over 2.3 million objects that document 5,000 years of human creativity from across six continents. The Museum holds many of UK’s designated National Collections, including sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, textiles and furniture, including extensive collections of prints, drawings, posters, photographs and portrait miniatures. It is also home to the National Art Library, which holds the UK’s most comprehensive public reference library for the fine and decorative arts, as well as special collections on the art of the book ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day.  The Archive of Art and Design holds extensive archives of over 1,000 individuals, associations and companies involved in the art and design process. The two photography galleries display a broad range of contemporary and historic photographs with a further four galleries and library, housing the Royal Photographic Society collection, currently being developed.

As Conservator (Photographs) you will provide excellence in the conservation of photographic collections (including prints, negatives, glass plates negatives and digital photographs). The postholder will have suitable experience in the treatment of photographic material both historical and contemporary and the ability to undertake technical examination and scientific analysis. An excellent knowledge and understanding of the properties of materials used in their construction and conservation is essential. The postholder is expected to be familiar with mounting and re-housing techniques and willing to train in the use of digital cutting systems.

The postholder, through a combination of examination, assessment, documentation, interventive and preventive measures, will support the delivery of the museum’s Public Programme, strategic objectives, and the Conservation and Care of Collections workplan. The postholder will work closely with the Conservation Operations team, the Preventive Conservation team, the Conservation Science Team, and other stakeholders such as Technical Services, Curators and external borrowers.

The postholder will also have a proven ability to work independently, project manage and organise tasks to work in an effective and efficient way and to produce a high standard of work within tight deadlines.

Fixed term contract until 31 March 2024

Details here

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12201226283?profile=originalPaul Sng's film Tish, an intimate portrait of British documentary photographer Tish Murtha, will open the 30th edition of Sheffield DocFest on 14 June 2023.

In Tish, Paul Sng celebrates the vision and profound humanism of this gifted artist. As the film questions the value placed on art and artists from working class roots, we follow Tish's daughter Ella, as she fights to preserve her mother's legacy. No less striking than the work of its subject, Tish is a powerful tribute to a vital artist, activist and social chronicler, and a rallying call to all whose engagement with art questions who gets seen and heard, who doesn't, and why. This is a story of contemporary Britain, of the fight for culture, as well as the life of a mother and activist. 

Directed by Paul Sng and produced by Jen Corcoran through Teesside-based Freya Films in association with Hopscotch Films and Sng's Velvet Joy Productions, with cinematography by Hollie Galloway. The voice of Tish is played by Maxine Peake. The film was made with the support of the BFI Doc Society Fund (thanks to National Lottery funding) and Screen Scotland, in association with the BBC.

Paul Sng, Director of Tish, says: “We’re completely delighted that Tish has been chosen to open Sheffield DocFest, a huge honour in a fitting city to launch a film about a photographer whose images show the fun, mischief and ingenuity of working class communities. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Tish Murtha used her camera to interrogate the detrimental impact of Thatcherism and deindustrialisation. More than forty years later, her images retain an urgency and empathy that speak to the concerns faced by people struggling to pay for food and energy bills in the present day. While this film celebrates the calibre of Tish’s work, it also asks questions about the value placed on working class artists and the communities that nurture them. These are important questions, now more than ever.” 

Annabel Grundy, Sheffield DocFest Managing Director, says: We are delighted to open the festival with Tish, as we celebrate 30 years of Sheffield DocFest. Tish shines a light on a working class artist whose work was tragically overlooked while she was alive, and whose story was rooted in the North. We are thrilled to welcome back director Paul Sng to DocFest, who presented the film at early-development stage in our marketplace in 2021 and producer Jen Corcoran who came through our own 'Future Producers' school seven years ago.”



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12201229678?profile=originalThe Classic Photograph Fair is delighted to announce its second edition, taking place at historic Conway Hall in charming Red Lion Square, Holborn, WC1R 4RL, 13 May, from 9am -4pm. The Classic Photograph Fair is London’s only free photography fair, which focuses on classic and vintage photography.

Taking place during Photo London, The Classic Photograph fair celebrates photography dating from the earliest years of the medium. Over 20 exhibitors, including UK and continental dealers, will be present, and exhibitors will also include contemporary artists working with early processes, such as Anthony Jones’ cyanotypes and Michael Ford’s silver daguerreotypes. The works on offer will include a range of vintage material daguerreotypes, paper negatives, salt prints, albums, cased images through to the 20th century, on the subjects of exploration and science, film and theatre, fashion and press photographs.

Founder Daniella Dangoor says, “This fair is a wonderful opportunity for lovers of photography and first-time buyers to explore a range of material. Prices will range from £50 to tens of thousands.”

The Classic Photograph Fair
13 May 2023, 9 am – 4 pm

Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square London WC1R 4RL

Sponsored by Chiswick Auctions

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12201224090?profile=originalSparked by a set of 19th century glass plate negatives, this talk will discuss the first photographic campaign to record the Bayeux Tapestry, which brought it to prominence as an iconic artwork in the British imagination. Photographing the Tapestry was an innovative process undertaken for the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) in 1872. Special techniques and equipment including solar enlargement, photocollage and hand-painting were combined to make a 214 foot long coloured photograph representing the Tapestry at life size scale. This object played a vital role in understanding the Tapestry in Britain for decades afterwards and generated further copies in other media including the 1886 embroidered copy of the tapestry made by the Leek Embroidery Society, now in Reading Museum.

This talk will place the first photography campaign of the Tapestry within current research into institutional photographic practices, cultural diplomacy through photography, and photographic replication of artworks.

Ella Ravilious's talk draws on research that will be published by The Burlington Magazine in its forthcoming May issue, which is devoted to Photography. 

Hosted by Photo London
Photographing the Bayeux Tapestry
24 April 2023 at 1800 (BST)
Register and: SIGN UP

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12201223288?profile=originalThe collections of 19th century stereo photographs (stereoviews) and historical maps on which this exhibition is based, had their origins over the past two decades in teaching and research on the historical geography of industrial development in what became known as the American Manufacturing Belt. 

Through the lens of the stereo photographer, exploring the novel technology of 3D visual effects, the exhibition examines key industrial sectors, such as the railroads, oil production, coal mining and the rise of the iron and steel industry. The varied geographical manifestations of the technologies and developments involved are further examined using a variety of cartographic resources.

This is the first time that images from a large collection of US industrial stereoviews of this kind have been exhibited in the UK, if not in Europe. While some will be familiar to 19th century photographic historians, others are very rare or are newly discovered and are not found in even the largest US public collections. Likewise, scans of original maps, dating back as far as a railroad map from 1831, are used to illustrate the wider geographical contexts of economic development, as well as pinpointing the locations at which photographs were taken. 

Where the original images will support it, large format anaglyphs have been created of selected scenes, to allow photos to be studied in 3D and in much greater detail than is possible using small format stereoviewers alone. It will become apparent that stereoviews represent an immensely valuable, but strangely neglected resource for the study of historical geography, quite apart from their important place in the history of photography.

The exhibition is designed and curated by Professor Richard Healey of the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences at the University of Portsmouth. The support of the School in creating the displays is gratefully acknowledged, together with the contribution of a number of technical specialists in scanning and digital reproduction from across the university.

The exhibition runs from Monday 17 April to Friday 19 May. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 10.00am - 5.00pm with two additional opening dates on Monday 8 May (bank holiday), and Saturday 20 May.

Seeing Double: Stereo Photography, Historical Cartography and the US Industrial Revolution 1840-1920
7 April 2023 - 19 May 2023
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR

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12201221885?profile=originalHello.  Having the late lamented Pete James of the Birmingham City Library called to mind, can anyone tell me what the current status of the photographic collection there might now be?  Is there anybody there with a curatorial knowledge of the collection, or has the entire enterprise been mothballed?  I would be very grateful to know - I haven't yet forgiven Birmingham for demolishing the previous building.

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In October 2022, the Signet Library’s ongoing re-cataloguing project threw up something remarkable: a sixth surviving complete copy of Hill and Adamson’s 1846 album A Series of Calotype Views of St. Andrews - the sole copy to reside in Edinburgh itself. This was the only album that the pioneering Scottish partnership produced in multiple copies, and the Signet Library volume appears to be the most complete surviving example, retaining its original binding and 25 calotypes including that on the title page. It joins examples at the Library of the University of Glasgow, the Avery Library at the University of Columbia, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and two copies at the Library of the University of St. Andrews. The Hay Fleming Library at the University of St. Andrews is home to a vitally important incomplete copy.

The Signet Library in Edinburgh is the headquarters and library of the Society of Writers to His Majesty’s Signet (the WS Society for short), a registered charity which comprises Scotland’s oldest corporate body of lawyers. On 31st March 2023 historians of photography joined an audience of Writers to the Signet and their guests at an event to celebrate the completion of conservation work on the Signet Library album and to reflect on its history and significance. The album itself was on display as part of a small exhibition from the Signet Library’s historic photographic collection, and guests heard a short talk on the album’s background and creation. The exhibition paid especial attention to the role in the Hill and Adamson partnership of Jessie Mann, now recognised as the world’s first female photographer but whose precise part in the success of the calotypists on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill is only now coming into proper view.


Unlike many of the surviving albums from the Hill and Adamson partnership, the Signet Library album possesses early Victorian provenance, pointing to the possible purchase of the album from David Octavius Hill by the Library in 1849. The Signet Library Librarian of the time, the bibliographer and historian David Laing, had been a sitter for Hill and Adamson, and was engaged in a special purchase of rare and illustrated books at the time that appear also to have included Hill’s youthful essay in lithography Sketches of Scenery in Perthshire. It’s indicative of the status of photography in the 1840s art world that whereas Sketches entered the Signet Library catalogue both under the name of its artist and under “Perthshire”, A Series of Calotype Views of St Andrews was entered under “St. Andrews” alone with no entry for its creators at all. This does however mean that the album stands every chance of being the first photobook acquired by a major library for the sake of its subject matter and not for the novelty of its medium.

The hand-out at the March event included a full analysis of the contents of all surviving copies of the St. Andrews album and an expanded version of this along with a full digital surrogate for the Signet album will be provided on the WS Society website shortly. (Given the album’s scarcity and vulnerability this surrogate will be the principle means of scholarly access going forward). It is also hoped to publish a full paper on the album and its significance in a recognised journal in the near future.

In the meantime enquiries about the album can be addressed to James Hamilton, Research Principal at the WS Society at jhamilton[at]

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12201220486?profile=originalThe Getty Research Institute (GRI) has acquired a major collection of Indian and South Asian photographs from Ken and Jenny Jacobson. Numbering approximately 4,625 images from the 19th and early-20th centuries, the collection documents the people, social customs, religious practices, architecture, and landscape of the subcontinent during the princely state era under the British Raj, which ended with Indian independence in 1947.

Created during the European domination of the subcontinent and often through a colonial lens, this remarkable group of photographs contains copious research material that will support the study of South Asian culture and enable critical examination of this complex historical period,” says Mary Miller, director of the GRI. “The Jacobson collection stands as a unique and foremost resource for research and teaching that is further heightened when combined with the Getty Research Institute’s holdings.”

As dealers and knowledgeable collectors, the Jacobsons assembled this unique collection over five decades from 285 sources. It mirrors the history of the medium as practiced on the subcontinent with a full range of processes from daguerreotype to photochrome.

The collection will be cataloged over the course of a number of years and made available to researchers at the GRI.


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12201226667?profile=originalThe 1850s were a transitional decade for photography and a space where wealthy amateurs often shaped and informed its direction. Experimenting within its technical constraints, Frances Edmund Currey, land agent for the 6th Duke of Devonshire’s Irish properties, constructed a multi-layered chronicle of life in and around Lismore Castle.

His work encompasses personal memoir, social history, documentary record and artistic ambition. Focussing on photographic albums held by the Chatsworth Trust, curator Sarah McDonald evaluates Currey’s differing relationships to the medium and his rising significance as one of Ireland’s pioneering photographers.

Francis Currey (1814-1896) was one of the earliest photographers in Ireland and was a member of the Photographic Society of London from 1853 until his death. He was employed as the agent for the Duke of Devonshire at Lismore Castle.

Opening Reception, Saturday 20 May, 3pm

Followed by a walk to see the This Rural at The Mill at 4pm (

Lismore Castle Arts


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12201227271?profile=originalFor over 100 years, when you’d often have to wait a week to see your photos, film processors used photo wallets - cheery illustrated envelopes - to return your pictures to you. They showed what subjects were considered suitable for a snapshot: bright-eyed children, laughing couples, adorable pets and perfect landscapes; they also reinforced prohibitions by what they omitted.

Drawing from the author’s personal collection of photo wallets from the 1900s to the 1990s, Annebella Pollen's book charts a century of popular photography in Britain: the birth of a new mass leisure pastime mainly marketed towards women, the growth of camera ownership after the Second World War, and behind it all, the working conditions of the people processing the films. It commemorates a time when you never knew if you had captured a treasured memory or your finger in front of the lens.

More Than A Snapshot: A Visual History of Photo Wallets
Annebella Pollen
Four Corners Irregulars #10
£12, hardback, 112 pages, 22 × 16 cm
Published: 11 May 2023
ISBN 978-1-909829-22-0

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12201226483?profile=originalNewcastle’s Side Gallery is to close on 9 April 2023 as a consequence of the loss of it’s Arts Council England (ACE)  National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status last November. This had provided the gallery with £120,000 annually for the previous four years. The gallery received £70,880 in ACE transition funding to help it move from public funding to other sources. The gallery blamed ‘critical funding cuts and the cost of living crisis’ for the closure.

This week the Gallery launched a public crowdfunder with a target of £60,000 to support re-opening in September 2024, although it says ‘our future is uncertain, and we now face the possibility of permanent closure’. It has lost six staff members and curator Kerry Lowes is coming up with a survival plan. 

There is a sense of déjà vu with the current situation and loss of NPO status and its associated funding. Back in 2011 Side Gallery also lost its NPO status and a petition was then launched then to save it. An Early Day Motion (EDM) was tabled in Parliament on 11 May of that year calling on the Arts Council to review its decision.

Side Gallery re-opened in 2016 after a two year refurbishment funded with £1.12 million for the National Heritage Memorial Fund and £90,000 from the Arts Council. It re-gained its NPO status in 2018. 

The gallery is run by Amber Film & Photography Collective CIC with the significant Amberside collection of photography held Amberside Trust. The Amber film and photography collective, which came together in 1968 to capture working-class life in the North East, opened the gallery in 1977. The Amberside Collection was reported in 2022 to comprise some 20,000 photographs, 10,000 slides and 100 films. These, together with their associated paper files take up 36.19 cubic metres and there are currently approximately 6 TB of digital assets.

Details of the crowdfunder are here:

By 1000 on Sunday, 9 April the crowdfunder had raised £38,748 of £60,000, by 2132 on Sunday, 9 April is stood at £40,921. 

The total required has been increased to £75,000. The call has reached £63,486 at 1334 Sunday, 23 April. 

Image: Side Gallery

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