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12201225670?profile=originalOn 15th August I will give a talk at the preserved darkroom of Henry Pakenham Mahon at Strokestown House, County Roscommon, Ireland, which he used between the late 1880s and the early 1920s.

Learn about early photography with a talk from photography expert, William Fagan of The Photo Museum Ireland during the first hour. This talk will be followed by a tour of the rare and intact Victorian Darkroom of Henry Pakenham Mahon at Strokestown Park House. Please allow for a total of two hours for this event.

A new exhibit in this Darkroom was installed in 2022 with Heritage Council funding. Spaces on the Darkroom Tour will be limited to 25 persons. Prior booking is essential.

Not only is the darkroom preserved with period equipment, cameras and lenses with chemicals up to 135 years old, we also have the photographer's notebooks where he noted details of processing/printing of specific images which have already been catalogued and scanned. This provides a fascinating insight into darkroom techniques of up to 130 years ago.

Link to bookings for the event is here.

I suspect that I will be doing more posts about this project as it progresses.

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12201219860?profile=originalBradford-born photographer Ian Beesley has donated his archive created over the past fifty years to Bradford's Industrial Museum. It consists of some 200,000 items including negatives, prints, notebooks, posters, books and cuttings. Bessley said in a Twitter post that that he wanted it to 'be free for future generations to access'. 

Ian has just published Life. A retrospective, a book that looks back at his work. An exhibition of the same name and Born in Bradford are at Salts Mills, Saltaire over the summer. 

See: @IanBeesleyphoto

For the book:

Details of the exhibition:

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Obituary: John P. Ward (1940-2023)

12201226066?profile=originalJohn Ward who has died aged 82 years, was a Science Museum curator and a key figure at the centre of a network of British photography collections and collectors between the 1970s and 1990s.

John was born in 1940 and attended Manchester Grammar School between 1952 and 1960. He joined the Science Museum in November 1968 as part of a new generation brought in to modernise the institution, by supplementing a post second world war group of curators. He remained there until 2000, just one month short of 30 years’ service.  

John initially worked under Dr David B Thomas (1928-2010), Keeper in the department of physics, as his research assistant. Both men had a strong interest in photography and Dr Thomas had published a small booklet on the camera collection in 1966 and in 1973 a booklet on the origins of the motion picture.[1],[2] In 1969 The Science Museum Photography Collection was published under Thomas’s name, incorporating research work from John.[3] John would later produce an updated edition The Science Museum Camera Collection (1981) when the Arthur Frank collection was acquired although he expressed disappointment noting that it had largely been produced to satisfy the donor.[4]

The period from 1968 until the move of the photography collections from London was significant with John’s own role growing into a curatorial one from 1974. The Science Museum through Dr Thomas and John was part of a close network of photography collections which included the Kodak Museum under Brian Coe, the Royal Photographic Society with Arthur Gill and Margaret Harker, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Fox Talbot Museum led by Bob Lassam; private collections such as the Barnes Museum of Cinematography and Fenton Museum of Photography, and individual collectors such as Bernard Howarth-Loomes, Cyril Permutt, and others.  Those inter-institution and personal connections led to acquisitions and loans, at a time when collections’ management was less formalised than now.[5] That with Howarth-Loomes (1931-2003) was particularly strong.

The connection with the Kodak Museum and Brian Coe (1930-2007) was especially productive with Coe producing salted paper prints from over 600 negatives in the Science Museum’s Talbot collection for an exhibition Sun Pictures marking the centenary of Talbot’s death in 1977. The exhibition showed at the Science Museum and toured internationally. In the catalogue John wrote of the value of the association between a national museum collection and a private museum with laboratory and research facilities.[6] By the early 1980s the Science Museum was showing Kodak Ltd exhibitions.

John was responsible for the design and installation of the Science Museum’s new photography and cinematography galleries which opened on 10 April 1979. These told the technical history of both through the museum’s significant collections, supplemented by a significant loan of early case photographs, photographic jewellery and stereographs from Howarth-Loomes. The opening of an adjacent new Optics gallery complimented them. The new galleries had short life and were dismantled soon after the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television (NMPFT) was fully established.

John’s time at the museum marked the setting up of the NMPFT, now the National Science and Media Museum, in Bradford, in 1983. This included the transfer of the Science Museum’s photography and cinematography collections from London. Although John was offered a move to Bradford he declined and remained a sceptic of the project, although he remained supportive of colleagues and remained professionally engaged with its activities.  He wrote a chapter for the museum’s book commemorating the transfer and opening of the Kodak Museum collection at the NMPFT in 1989.[7]

The launch and expansion of the NMPFT meant that John’s role as London photography curator disappeared and he had a temporary role researching and cataloguing the museum’s Talbot collection.[8] He later took on a new role responsible for training, in particular for new graduates, within the museum. He retired in 2000.

During the latter changes, John remained professionally engaged with photography especially early British photography.  The resulted in perhaps his most significant achievement, with Sara Stevenson, the exhibition and book Printed Light: the scientific art of William Henry Fox Talbot (1984) which opened at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 1984 and brought together 100 of the Science Museum’s Talbot prints and objects.[9]  

Outside of his professional roles at the Science Museum John was actively involved with the Institution of Professionals, Managers and Specialists trade union at the Science Museum which took a lot of his time. As his wife Sue noted he was a man of principles and integrity and never hesitated to ‘speak truth to power’.

After retirement he continued to be consulted on early photography and wrote entries for the Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Photography (Routledge, 2007) and for the Encyclopedia of 20th Century Technology (Routledge, 2004).

Quiet and understated, John was not an easy or eloquent orator, but he more than made up for this in the fluency of his written words and he was supportive of others. Colin Harding who joined the Science Museum working with John noted “I have great affection for John. He set me on the road to becoming a photohistorian and was always very supportive - although he thought that I was making a big mistake when I decided to take a job in Bradford.” He continues, “[Dr] David Thomas kept a low profile and it was through John that I met such luminaries as Brian Coe, Bernard Howarth-Loomes and Larry Schaaf. My friendship with John meant that I was subsequently able to negotiate the sometimes difficult political landscape between Bradford and South Kensington. John actively encouraged me to research and write.”

Roger Taylor who was recruited to the NMPFT in 1985 to open the Kodak Museum to Bradford noted the later support of John who acted as his advocate with senior management. He says “I will always be grateful for his intervention.” For other such as Alison Morrison-Low, then curator at the National Museums of Scotland “it is thanks to him that the Howarth-Loomes collection came to the National Museums of Scotland. He introduced me to Bernard, and also to Brian Coe… I learned a lot.”

And for me, I was at Christie’s in South Kensington from 1986, as a photography specialist and met John when the museum would buy photography for the collection. I would meet John regularly for lunch at his favourite Italian restaurant just down from the museum, where he would offer news, advice and share his knowledge. Later, in 2007 when I started a PhD John acted as an advisor and after he had left the museum we continued to meet and discuss photographic history.

John was a sportsman who ran, particularly cross country, played football, badminton and cricket. He would keep an eye on Chelsea FC while reading a book and possibly dip in and out of an England cricket match, but would be equally happy to stop and watch a village cricket match. He learnt to play the violin at school and picked up the ability to play the piano both with music and by ear. He loved classical music and reading with particularly interests in the history of the World Wars, social history, politics and of course photography. John was also a great gardener, sowing seeds and growing plants on, particularly vegetables but also annual plants for the garden.

John’s contribution to British photographic history was largely curtailed with the opening of the NMPFT and later acquisition of the Kodak Museum collection. But the remains a significant figure through his work at the Science Museum, and through his wider role engaging with other institutions and individuals during a period of rapid growth in interest in photographic history. Look through many books on British photographic history published during the period 1974-1990s and John is often acknowledged. He was personally supportive of a generation of curators and researchers which has left an enduring legacy.

He leaves Sue, his wife of more than fifty years, and is survived by three sisters. His brother predeceased him.

© Dr Michael Pritchard
16 June 2023, updated 15 July 2023

With thanks to: Sue Ward, Tim Boon, Colin Harding, Hope Kingsley, Alison Morrison-Low, Roger Taylor.

Photo: Richard Morris FRPS. John Ward, 1978, a contemporary calotype made at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire.


[1] David B. Thomas, Camera Photographs and Accessories. A Science Museum illustrated booklet, London: HMSO, 1966.

[2] David B. Thomas, The origins of the motion pictures. An introductory booklet on the pre-history of the cinema, London, HMSO, 1964.

[3] David B. Thomas, The Science Museum Photography Collection, London, HMSO, 1969.

[4] The Science Museum Camera Collection incorporating the Arthur Frank Collection, London, Science Museum, [1981].

[5] Michael Pritchard, ‘many interesting and valuable gifts of apparatus for preservation in the Museum’.   The Royal Photographic Society and networks of collecting photographic technology’, paper presented at the V&A Museum conference, 16 & 17 November 2018.

[6] Michael Pritchard et. al., ‘In memoriam. Brian Walter Coe’, History of Photography, 32 (2), Summer 2008, p. 208-210.

[7] John Ward, ‘The beginnings of photography’, in Colin Ford (ed.), The story of popular photography, London, Century and NMPFT. 1989, pp. 10-41.

[8] ‘Photohistorical and club news’, Photographica World, no.48 (March 1989), p.2.

[9] John Ward and Sara Stevenson, Printed Light: the scientific art of William Henry Fox Talbot and David Octavius Hill with Robert Adamson. London, HMSO, 1986.

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12201223496?profile=originalThe latest number of The PhotoHistorian, the journal of the RPS Historical Group has recently been published. The two papers present a detailed study of the woman photographer and studio owner Madame Clementina Brunner *1837-1887) ‘sole pupil of Mayall’ by Rebecca Sharpe. The second presents new discoveries and letters relating to Antoine Claudet. Published are plans of his 'temple of photography' in Regent Street (first noted by Steve Edwards), evidence that the disastrous studio fire left behind some material, a new letter from Claudet and H L Pattinson, and details of Claudet's will; and from Deborah Ireland are letters between Claudet and Hugh Lee Pattinson, who's daguerreotype of Niagara Falls appeared in Excursion Daguerriennes. The letter's are all transcribed. 

The PhotoHistorian is available to members of the Group or on subscription. See:

One of three drawings of Claudet's Temple of Photography, 107 Regent Street, reproduced in The PhotoHistorian. Courtesy, The National Archives. 


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12201218494?profile=originalThe 14th International Seminar on the Origins and History of Cinema is titled Visions of the sick body. Physical and Mental Pathologies' Representations in Photography and Early Cinema. Details of the programme are now available and registration is open until 2 November 2023. 

The conference is international and includes speakers from the UK: Louise Radinger Field (U. Reading, UK) The Strange Case of Madeleine Lebouc: Capturing and Projecting the Iconography of Madness at Salpêtrière; and Jason Bate (U. London) Introducing the Optical Lantern into the Medical School Classroom, 1880-1910, 

Visions of the sick body. Physical and Mental Pathologies' Representations in Photography and Early Cinema
9 and 10 November 2023
Universitat de Girona

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12201222679?profile=originalRichard Jenkins was born in 1890 on a farm ten miles from Hay: and he became a brilliant pioneering photographer. He longed to escape the drudgery of farming – to go away and study. Instead he had to console himself by learning to wield a cumbersome camera,  taking and developing spontaneous and moving portraits of his friends and neighbours going about their everyday lives. He had a gift for capturing his subjects’ personalities, paying tribute to their fortitude and skills.
Miraculously, nearly a thousand of his glass-plate images survived decades of neglect; and since the publication of Golden Valley Faces in 2020, his work has begun to be recognised as a remarkable record of life in rural Herefordshire at the start of the twentieth century.
Café Gallery - Golden Valley Faces
Until 23 September 2023, daily 1000-1700
Hay Castle, Oxford Road, Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5DG

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12201224672?profile=originalThe earliest era of photograph collecting in Central Europe is largely unexplored. One of the few pioneering collectors we know about was the Austrian chancellor of state Klemens W.N.L., Prince von Metternich-Winneburg. As this article demonstrates, in the early 1840s he acquired dozens of photogenic drawings and calotypes from W.H.F. Talbot and incorporated them into his extensive collections at Kynžvart Castle (West Bohemia). Most of the series is lost, but drawing on recently recognized evidence and documents – starting with Talbot’s correspondence and period catalogues of the Kynžvart collection and ending with later reproductions and the research interests of the historians and collectors Egon Corti and Erich Stenger – we can form a detailed idea of the origin, form, content and development of the series. We can also better understand Metternich’s interest in photograph collecting and his role in the early development of paper photography in this part of Europe.

I hope this might draw more attention also to those who helped Talbot to disseminate the first specimens and knowledge of his inventions, to the first collectors of photogenic drawings and calotypes outside the UK, and to photo historians and collectors who helped to preserve Talbot’s experimental and presentation pieces throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.

You can access the full version through this link:

Petra Trnkova, Metternich’s collection of Talbot’s photographs: A lost album as a virtually material being, Journal of the History of Collections 35, July 2023, pp. 379–394.


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12201221700?profile=originalAs we struggle to find support to preserve analogue photographic materials, digital images become a more prevalent part of our daily lives. This calls for a revision of processes, methodologies, and even the ethical principles of cultural heritage professionals working with photograph collections.

Even though there is no doubt about its cultural value and communication power, we need to reflect on the definition of photography, as it is still typically associated with technical concepts that are no longer fully applicable to digital-born photographs. 

This one-day symposium invites you to take part in a series of lectures and discussions around the concept of photography, its evolution, and how it affects different stakeholders.

More details about the program & registration coming soon!

Hosted by the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM) and organised in collaboration with the Grupo Español del International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (Ge-IIC) 

València (Spain)

23 September 2023 - immediately after the 20th ICOM-CC Triennial Conference

Free event with required registration


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12201232297?profile=originalVogue House was the home of Vogue, Tatler, GQ, World of Interiors, House & Garden, Condé Nast Traveller and Brides magazines for six decades but they are all due to leave the building in January 2024. There are few buildings in London that have been so important to the national cultural conversation as Vogue House. The old BBC Television Centre in Shephard’s Bush is certainly one, as is Broadcasting House at the top of Regent Street. Places where entertainment, knowledge, debate, news and learning were and are devised, created and disseminated. Buildings embedded into the national consciousness as bastions of creativity, solidity, and quality through their output.

The Condé Nast HQ is less known, but arguably no less important. In this book Scott traces the evolution of magazine publishing in the United Kingdom through the journalists, photographers, writers and art directors that were responsible for creating the magazines that set the cultural agenda and conversation.

n this respect this book acts as a metaphor for the decline of the impact of the monthly magazine within a global publishing environment. It is not just a story of a building, but one of progress and communication, society and economics, global expansion and expectation. It’s bigger than one corner of Hanover Square. 

Condé Nast Has Left The Building: Sixty Years of Vogue House
Grant Scott
Orphans Publishing
February 2024

The Author
After fifteen years art directing photography books and magazines such as Elle and Tatler, Dr Grant Scott began to work solely as a photographer, art director, editor and creative director for a number of commercial and editorial clients in 2000. He is the founder/curator of United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer and Subject Co-ordinator: Photography at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, a working photographer, documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and BBC Radio contributor. His previous books include At Home With The Makers of Style (Thames & Hudson 2006) Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Routledge 2014), The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Routledge 2015), New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography (Routledge 2019) and What Does Photography Mean to You? (Bluecoat Press 2020). His film Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay was first screened in 2018 He is the presenter of the A Photographic Life weekly podcast.12201233071?profile=original

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12201220300?profile=originalThere is now a Photography Wall in the Library of Birmingham that contains a section featuring a modest tribute to the pioneering work that Pete James accomplished at LoB. The picture below is a low res snap of the wall done as a favour to me by one of the staff who I worked with to get this section added.

There is currently only one archivist responsible for several LoB collections. There have been no photographic archivists at LoB since the department was disbanded. However, exhibits from the Photographic Collection that Pete was responsible for have appeared in at least two LoB exhibitions since his death five years ago.



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12201232097?profile=originalShe’s sixteen, shunned, isolated and possibly pregnant. This is Marie who thought she had the world by the tail a few months ago. She had married a handsome, professional European man who adored her. She is Eurasian, but her European status in Indonesia had been earned through careful education, European dress and mastery of a European language, Dutch. But she finds herself in dank, grey Manchester where her husband’s family won’t accept her and never really will, she’s half a world away from the blue skies, tropical fruits, colourful fabrics, familiar languages and house full of servants that she grew up with. Her husband, Walter Woodbury, is on a mission to patent his invention, which is why they’ve returned to England, a country which will be civilly hostile to Marie and her eight children, so that, when her husband dies, within a few years, seven of the eight and Marie herself will has fled England, which deems them Not White Enough.

You probably don’t know who Walter Bentley Woodbury is, but you should.  He’s the reason this book is in your hands.  Woodbury invented and patented the first photographic printing press so that thousands of copies could be made from a single negative—enough for a book or an illustrated magazine. But he’s unknown.  In fact, he died in so much debt that a collection had to be taken for his funeral and he left his wife and eight children £246. His obscurity is due to two factors.  One is Woodbury himself—his mercurial mind caromed on to the next project, whether it was an aerial observation camera for the military or a train signal that used sound for foggy weather or paper-backed film, before he had secured the business side of his existing inventions.  The second was that he and his family were ostracized because Marie Woodbury, his Eurasian wife, was visibly biracial and so were most of their children.  The scientific community accepted Woodbury as an inventor, but the wider community never accepted his wife and family, virtually all of whom left England after Woodbury’s tragic death. 

This book tells a story that needs telling in our modern world. Not White Enough is largely dedicated to Woodbury’s career and travels, but the author also sheds some light (sometimes speculative) on his wife, their eight children, and other little-known Woodbury family members in an effort to piece together the puzzle of her family’s fascinating and often tragic past.

Muriel Morris taught English, English literature, journalism, and creative writing, among other subjects. She is the great, great, granddaughter of Walter Woodbury. 

Not White Enough. How Victorian Racism Contributed to the Destruction of a Photographic Genius
Muriel J. Mprris
Friesenpress, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-03-915950-1

$22.99 (paperback), other formats available

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12201228697?profile=originalThe RPS's Historical Group has a number of visits and events coming up including online collection and archive visits and the RPS Hurter and Driffield lecture which is being given by Tony Richards at the John Rylands Library, Manchester. Tony will look at the history of advanced heritage imaging techniques: From paper to plate to pixels. 

The events and links are below: 

25 August. Visit to Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe. Details here

2 September. H&D lecture: Advanced heritage imaging and collection viewing, Manchester.  Details here.

7 September. Exploring the The Robert Elwall Photographs Collection at the RIBA. Online.  Details here.

19 September. Exploring the William Graham collection at the Mitchell Library. Online. Details here

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12201227652?profile=originalThe 50th anniversary of Daniel Meadows’ Free Photographic Omnibus and Charlie Phillips’s 50-year work on Afro Caribbean funerals in London will be the two lead exhibitions considering communities opening at the Centre for British Photography on Thursday 5 October. Community-focussed work of three other photographers will also be on show: Grace Lau’s Chinese portrait studio; Dorothy Bohm’s photographs of London street markets; and Arpita Shah’s portraits of young British Asian women. 

James Hyman, Founding Director of the Centre for British Photography, said: “Building a community around photography in Britain is central to our aims and I am delighted that our autumn exhibitions present a range of voices, across generations, to celebrate different communities. I am also pleased that as well as curating our own shows, we are again providing a London venue for exhibitions and bodies of work that that would not otherwise reach this audience.

The exhibitions are: 

12201227268?profile=originalCharlie Phillips - How Great Thou Art, 50 Years of African Caribbean Funerals in London

Charlie Phillips’ How Great Thou Art - 50 Years of African Caribbean Funerals in London is a sensitive photographic documentary of the social and emotional traditions that surround death in London’s African Caribbean community. This will be the first time that the Centre for British Photography’s main space will present a solo exhibition. 

Daniel Meadows - Free Photographic Omnibus, 50th Anniversary

On 22 September 1973, Daniel Meadows set off on a long-planned adventure in a rickety 1948 double-decker bus that he had repurposed as his home, gallery and darkroom. He was intent on making a portrait of England. He was 21 years old. 

Over the next 14 months, travelling alone, Meadows crisscrossed the country covering 10,000 miles. He photographed 958 people, in 22 towns and cities. From circus performers to day trippers. He developed and printed the photographs as he went along, giving them away for free to those who posed for him.

This exhibition will feature dozens of photographs, including loans from The Hyman Collection, as well as previously unseen works of documentary reportage that Meadows made during his travels.

12201228270?profile=originalDorothy Bohm - London Street Markets

London’s street markets and especially the people who worked there were an important aspect of Bohm’s engagement with London. Having run a successful portrait studio in Manchester in the late 1940s and 1950s, it was only in the 60s and 70s, after she settled in London, that Bohm turned her lens on the city that remained her home until her death earlier this year. The markets she depicted include the old Covent Garden fruit and vegetable market, Smithfield, Billingsgate, Petticoat Lane, Portobello Road, Farringdon Road book market, as well as stalls in Camden Town and Hampstead. 

The exhibition will be made up of familiar and unfamiliar works.

Grace Lau – Portraits In a Chinese Studio

Grace Lau’s Chinese portrait studio is not just an entertaining pop-up studio but also addresses issues around Imperialism by inverting Western notions of the Chinese as an exotic ‘other’. The studio will be set up in the Mezzanine Gallery at the Centre for British Photography and visitors will be able to book a spot to pose for the camera at times throughout the exhibition’s run. Portraits from two previous incarnations of the studio will surround the studio.

The first photographic portrait studios in China were set up in the mid-19th century by Western travellers, and focused on ‘exotic’ subjects such as beggars, opium smokers, coolies and courtesans. Many of these images were reproduced as postcards to send back to amuse a European audience. In 2005, Lau created her own version of an old Chinese portrait studio in which she would document the residents and tourists to Hastings as ‘exotic’ subjects.

12201228655?profile=originalArpita Shah – Modern Muse

Drawing from and subverting the conventions of Mughal and Indian miniature paintings from ancient to pre-colonial times, Arpita Shah’s Modern Muse visually and conceptually explores the ever-shifting identities and representations of South Asian women in contemporary Britain. The portraits give an insight into the perspectives of what it means to be a young British and Asian woman. Shah examines the intersections of culture and identity, drawing on the women’s lived experiences and her own journey and life. Commissioned by GRAIN projects, this body of work has not been shown in London before.

Centre for British Photography
London, Jermyn Street
5 October – 17 December 2023
Free entry

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12201227059?profile=originalOver 530 pamphlets, handbooks and trade catalogues relating to photography dating from 1839-c.1907 bound into volumes by the Royal Photographic Society as part of their Library and now in the collection of the National Art Library at the V&A Museum, London have been digitised and are available online here:

The V&A wishes to acknowledge the support given by V&A Americas Foundation through the generosity of The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, which facilitated the cataloguing, conservation, and digitisation of the Royal Photographic Society Bound Pamphlet collection in 2021. 

The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the V&A was acquired with the generous assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Art Fund.

With thanks to Ella Ravilious

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12201229899?profile=originalTo mark the fifth anniversary of the 1948 Nationality Act, Vanley Burke, the ‘Godfather of Black British Photography’ is in conversation with Diane Louise Jordan broadcaster and founder of the project, The Making of Black Britain.

Vanley Burke’s photographs and art capture experiences of his community's arrival in Britain, the different landscapes and cultures he encountered, and the different ways of survival and experiences of the wider African-Caribbean community.

Making of Black Britain is a story-telling project, created to document and preserve life experiences, for us and generations to come. It’s a ‘living’ archive, particularly poignant for communities whose history has been truncated or lost. Vanley is the official photographer of the project and has been travelling the length and breadth of Britain with Diane, capturing the portraits of The Making of Black Britain story-tellers - those who make up Britain today, every colour, creed, class and generation from the Windrush generation through to the present day - to mark this significant moment in history. To explore what it means to be British. And what it means to belong.

1948 Nationality Act is a pivotal moment in British history - in the transition from Empire to understanding how we live today.

Vanley Burke in conversation with Diane Louise Jordan
28 July 2023 at 1900

National Portrait Gallery
£15, plus concessions
Details and booking:

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12201229067?profile=originalClare Freestone, curator of the exhibition Yevonde: Life and Colour introduces the trailblazing twentieth-century photographer Yevonde.

Throughout the lecture, you will be taken behind the scenes into the planning and staging of this exhibition of Yevonde’s pioneering colour photography, highlighting work undertaken with her negative archive. The talk explores key exhibition themes, including Yevonde’s position as a woman photographer and the dissemination of her work through the illustrated press.

Curator’s introduction: Yevonde: Life and Colour
National Portrait Gallery, The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
21 July 2023, 1900-2000
£15 (members/concessions)


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12201226456?profile=originalThe National Stereoscopic Association's 49th 3D-Convention is taking place from 31 July-7 August. On the 4 August the History of Stereoscopic Photography sessions are scheduled. These are in person only. 

  • Carleton Watkins Through the Looking Glass. Prof. Bruce Graver
  • Politics in the Stereoscope: Promoting and Lambasting the Regime of Napoleon III. Denis Pellerin
  • Arizona Stereographer Joseph C. Burge, Milton Sage, and Spring 1883 at the San Carlos Reservation. Dr Jeremy Rowe
  • George Barker, The Most Famous Landscape Photographer in the World. Dale Rossi
  • Underwood & Underwood: Beyond The Third Dimension. Andrew Lauren
  • That Banjo! in Stereo and Culture from the Late 18th Century to the 20th. Dr Melody Davis
  • Stereoscopic Pioneer: James Edward Ellam and the Press Photo Revolution. Dr David Barber

Details of the convention and registration are here:

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12201231483?profile=originalDick Wendling has published a blog looking at the life and career of Lena Connell (1875-1949), an important photographer of the women’s suffragette movement in the early 20th century. She claimed to be the first woman photographer not restricted to women clients and photographed politicians and others. In an interview for The Vote in May 1910, Lena said she became committed to the suffragette movement when she photographed Gladice Keevil, after her release from Holloway prison in 1908.

Read the full blog here: and read more and her her work here:

Image: Self portrait of Lena Connell,1910

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Autochromes in the V&A

12201223897?profile=originalIt may not be known to all that the V&A will make available for viewing by appointment items from their photographic collections. Included in the move of The Royal Photographic Collection from the Science Museum Group to the V&A in 2017 was a set of Autochromes taken by Mervyn O'Gorman CB. He took these in 1913 of his neighbour Edwyn Bevan's teenage daughter Christina and were included in the Drawn by Light exhibition in 2015 by the National Science and Media Museum.

I took these pictures on 6 July 2023 when the V&A staff kindly brought the Autochromes down to the Prints and Drawings Room.They are very fragile; a tiny glass chip came off one as the staff unwrapped it. What a privilege!  12201224285?profile=original12201224893?profile=original

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Publication: Being There

12201223501?profile=originalThe elements of Being There have become fragments of biographies that collectively follow the progress of picture journalism from the advent of the miniature camera through to the arrival and impact of the digital age. It covers a ninety-year period from ca.1923 to 2012 and provides a critical compilation of encounters with influential photographers and their visual icons. 

The predominant narrative to this book relates to the photographic documentary in Europe and America and the individual interviews reflect this. Many of these interviews have been published in the photographic press and are reproduced here in edited or expanded form, while others have been interviewed specifically for this book. They cover five periods: 1923-1940 with the emergence of the picture magazine; 1940-1975 the golden age of photojournalism and the arrival of the ‘colour supplements’; 1975-2000 which provides new thinking and looking; 2000-2010 that sees the arrival of the democracy of photography; while 2011-2012 reviews concerns and queries, outcomes and polarities of Armageddon and renewal.

Michael Hallett’s publication has evolved over a thirty year period and is now revised and updated and presented from a 2023 perspective. His conversations with such photographers as Tim Gidal, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Carl Mydans, Sebastiāo Salgado as well as more recent practitioners all reflect the time of their particular interview.

Being There: 
Michael Hallett
ISBN: 978-1-3999-4034-8
£20 plus postage, 319 pages, softback
Order from:

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