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The Guardian newspaper reports that one of three known life-size, photographic and hand-coloured reproductions of the Bayeux Tapestry has been bought by the Bayeaux Museum. The tapestry was photographed in 1872 by the South Kensington Museum, now the V&A Museum, and six copies were originally made over a two year period. The Bayeaux Museum's recent acquisition cost £16,000 (plus buyer's premium, total £20,160) and came from the collection of Rolling Stone drummer Charlie Watts which was sold at Christie's last year.  The V&A still holds the original negatives of the tapestry. 

Read the article here:

The original Christie's auction description and illustrations are here: The reproduction was previously sold at Bonhams in 2009 for £6000 (inc premium) alongside a fuller description:

The most authoritative study of the photography of the Tapestry is Ella Ravilious, 'The Bayeux Tapestry Photographed', The Burlington Magazine, v. 165, no. 1442 (May 2023). See:

See the Bayeaux Tapestry Museum here:

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Blog: London News Agency Photos Ltd and 3D

Research into the origins of London News Agency Photos Ltd (founded 1908) has revealed an unexpected development. A recently obtained stereocard dated to 1910 advertises the company as "stereoscopic photographers." I have written a Pressphotoman blogpost about this. 

Are British Photographic History blog members aware of other examples of LNA Photos Ltd stereocards?

Read the blog here: Read here 

Photo credit: "Blue coated Prussians. The Battle of Malplaquet 1709."

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12367007474?profile=RESIZE_400xThere is an unprecedented exhibition of the Clarkson Stanfield Album, a superb volume of early photographs by the celebrated Scottish partnership of Hill & Adamson. Launching their collaboration in Edinburgh in 1843, the established painter David Octavius Hill (1802–1870) and the young photographer Robert Adamson (1821–1848) combined their aesthetic sensitivity and technical brilliance to produce an unparalleled body of portraits, architectural and landscapes scenes, and pioneering social documents. Their work endures today as one of the earliest sustained explorations of photography as an artform.

In the fall of 1845 Hill & Adamson prepared an album of their finest work, arranging 109 salted paper prints from their calotype negatives into a folio bound in rich purple leather with intricate gold tooling, and sold it to the prominent English marine painter Clarkson Frederick Stanfield (1793–1867). Now known as the Clarkson Stanfield Album, it is one of only a few such unique albums assembled in the years before Adamson's death at age 26.

More than 175 years later the album is undergoing structural repair, providing the first opportunity since 1845 to view several sections at once before conservators return them to the original binding. The exhibition includes 39 salted paper prints from the Clarkson Stanfield Album, as well as examples of Adamson's earliest photographic trials and two of Hill's painted landscapes. The exhibition is drawn entirely from the Gernsheim Collection, acquired by the Ransom Center in 1963.

Hill & Adamson: The Clarkson Stanfield Album
9 March  – 2 June 2024

Harry Ransom Center, Austin Texas

Image: Hill & Adamson (Scottish, active 1843–1847), A Newhaven Pilot, 1843–1845. Salted paper print, 20.3 x 14.6 cm. Gernsheim Collection, purchase, 964:0048:0085

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Blog: Tri-colour carbon printing

­The National Portrait Gallery commissioned Dr Katayoun Dowlatshahi to make 25 tri-colour carbon prints for the exhibition Yevonde: Life and Colour (2023). Here she describes the journey in making them and the historical developments that are part of the story. Katayoun also runs private courses on Carbon printing from her home in Norfolk. 

Read the blog (complete with footnotes):

For information on black and white, colour and carb printing workshops see:

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Beken of Cowes - limited edition prints

Bosham Gallery is presenting a collection of limited editioned silver gelatin photographs printed from the original glass plate negatives of the Beken of Cowes archive, an elegant and quintessentially English collection of magnificent sailing photographs from a bygone era of international yachting. In order to make silver gelatin photographs today using the original glass plate negatives in the Beken of Cowes archive, which are over 130 years old, first the glass plate negatives needed to be cleaned and then scanned to produce a digital file.

Read how the arduous task of digitally restoring the Beken of Cowes photographs was completed by Paul Brett in 2015, by way of an example using Alfred John West’s iconic photograph of Meteor II Aground in 1899 by clicking here.

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12366939882?profile=RESIZE_400xMerton College, Oxford, is inviting applications for a Visiting Research Fellowship in the Creative Arts (Book Arts) 2024-2025. This covers the broad gamut of Book Arts including genres such as the photographic book, and the artist's book. 

The Fellowship is open to creative artists of all ages, and might be awarded either to emerging or established figures. For 2024-25, applications are invited from practitioners in the field of Book Arts (including illustration, graphic design, fine printing, dust-jacket art, binding, and such genres as the graphic novel, photographic book, and the artist's book).

  • Tenure: The Fellowship can be held for any period between two months and one year - with the period of tenure offered being determined by the needs of the proposed project. The starting date is negotiable, the earliest being 1 October 2024.
  • Stipends: there will be a stipend of up to £2203.67 per month. The Stipend will be subject to Tax and National Insurance and will be pensionable.
  • Expenses for qualifying research, travel, and materials up to £317 per month may be claimed subject to the College's rules for Fellows' Research Allowance. The college cannot, however, fund additional support personnel.
  • Accommodation and meals will be provided for the Fellow. If available the College will endeavour to provide partnered accommodation when required. It is expected that the Fellow will reside in the College accommodation during the tenure of the Fellowship.
  • The College will endeavour to provide a suitable studio or office where required.
  • Fellows will retain the copyright for work carried out during the tenure of the Fellowship. They are, however, expected to acknowledge, where possible, the support provided by the College and, where practicable, to deposit copies of work produced in an appropriate media, in the College archives. The College intends to create an archive of the scheme within the College archives.
  • Fellows will be expected to submit to the Governing Body a brief account of their work during the Fellowship.


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12366916854?profile=RESIZE_400xSpanning the history of photography from the 1840s to the present day, this beautifully illustrated book showcases 100 photographs chosen from the many thousands held in collections at National Trust properties across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Alongside works by well-known photographers such as William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, Camille Silvy, Edward Chambré Hardman, Dorothy Wilding, Angus McBean and Jane Bown are remarkable images captured by less familiar practitioners. Many of these photographs have only recently been discovered and are reproduced here for the first time.

12365947082?profile=RESIZE_400xProfessional studio portraits, landscapes and images of war sit alongside family groups, domestic scenes and travel photographs by talented amateurs whose images provide glimpses into the way we have viewed and recorded the world over the last two centuries. Through these pages, glassplate negatives give way to celluloid film; monochrome makes room for colour; and while still inspiring many, early cumbersome processes evolve into modern, portable formats that would bring photographic creativity within easier reach of everyone.

The book concludes with a useful illustrated glossary of photographic terms and a gazetteer of National Trust properties with significant photographic collections.
Anna Sparham will be talking about the Trust's collection and book at The Photography Show, Birmingham, on Sunday, 17 March, between 4 – 4.30 pm.
The aurthor
Anna Sparham is National Curator for Photography at the National Trust. Since 2001, she has worked extensively with historic collections of photographs and contemporary photographic practice across the arts and heritage sector. She was formerly Curator of Photographs at the Museum of London, publishing widely and curating several exhibitions on subjects including women’s suffrage, youth culture and London at night. Her interests include 20thcentury portraiture, the natural landscape, and analogue and alternative processes.

Robin Muir is a writer and curator, specialising in photography. He is currently a Contributing Editor at British Vogue and consultant to its archive. He has curated major exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of London and the Yale Center for British Art. His many publications include The World’s Most Photographed, Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things, monographs on David Bailey, John Deakin, Terence Donovan, Norman Parkinson and Snowdon, and several books on the history of Vogue magazine, including Vogue 100: A Century of Style and most recently The Crown in Vogue.
100 Photographs from the Collections of the National Trust
Anna Sparham, with an introduction from Robin Muir

The National Trust
Published 4 April 2024
Hardcover, 224 pages
ISBN: 978-0707804675
£10, from your local bookseller or the National Trust shop.

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The National Stereoscopic Association is pleased to announce its fifth annual 'Sessions on the History of Stereoscopic Photography' at the 50th annual 3D-Con held at the Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, Wichita, Kansas, on July 26, 2024. Presentations of 15 minutes 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 fill out the contact information form on the web page below. Then upload on a separate file your abstract of 600 words maximum, followed by a biography of no more than 300 words, and five images (optional). Deadline: May 14, 2024

Notification of acceptance by May 24, 2024. Digital images will be expected by June 25, 2024.

Call for Papers
Sessions on the History of Stereoscopic Photography V
July 26, 2024
at the National Stereoscopic Association’s
50th Annual 3D-Con

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In passing: John Nesbitt

12365598898?profile=RESIZE_400xHeard today the sad news that old friend, photographer and camera maker, John Nesbitt has died suddenly. He made his superb wooden cameras in Mid Wales and ran large format workshops with Pete Davis before moving to France in the 1990s. His wife,. Michelle was French, so the relocation to Vendee was probably inevitable. He conducted one of our last workshops at The Photographers Place before leaving Wales. Some may remember his wonderful landscape work from 'Image & Exploration' exhibition at The Photographers Gallery in 1985.

The Guardian published an obituary here:

Left: the Nesbitt camera from 1989. 

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Photographs by renowned British photographer John Bulmer capturing the fortitude of Hartlepool people during the hardship of the 1960s will receive their first-ever showing in the town in a major exhibition of his work.

Born in 1938, John Bulmer is best-known for his pioneering colour photojournalism in the Sixties, when he worked for, among others, the Sunday Times magazine and famously shared the cover of the very first issue of the ‘Colour Section’ with David Bailey. Over the next ten years, he would travel to over 100 countries around the world to document historic moments ranging from Queen Elizabeth II visiting Ethiopia to life under the regime in North Korea. In 1960 he had been assigned by Town magazine to document the bleak industrial centre of Nelson, Lancashire, and contrast it with the up-and-coming town of Watford, and his talent in capturing the gentleness and humanity in an otherwise grim situation elevated his images beyond any typical reportage-style photography.

He continued to return to the north of England, and in the winter of 1962-63 he visited Hartlepool for Image magazine, taking more than 40 photographs. It is those images which will feature in the new exhibition called Northern Light which opens in Hartlepool Art Gallery on Saturday, 27 January and runs until Saturday, 4 May.

12361860871?profile=RESIZE_400xAt the time of Bulmer’s visit, during a bitterly cold winter, Hartlepool was suffering from mass unemployment. Gray’s shipyard had just closed with the loss of 1,400 jobs and the future looked bleak. His images record the town before it changed, but also the daily life of men and women who were out of work and gathering sea coal from the beach, waiting in the dole queue or visiting the labour exchange. The article the photographs were used for tried to make the case for more targeted Government intervention in places like Hartlepool where poor infrastructure and low investment meant businesses were more likely to set up in the already prosperous south-east. Despite the hardships people were facing, Bulmer’s photographs convey a sense of resilience, humour and even optimism, and although the landscape appears bleak and hard he remembers the warmth of the people he met.

By the end of the 1960s the landscape of the town had changed immeasurably as a result of slum clearance and the closure of shipyards and steelworks, and new employers moved in and grew in place of the old.

John Bulmer said: "It’s sixty years since the ‘big freeze’, when Hartlepool had a record cold winter which corresponded to having the highest unemployment in the country. The shipyard had just closed, and I made my first trip to Hartlepool. The faces of the people showed an extraordinary fortitude, which is a reminder sixty years on of the strength of the people of the North East. It is wonderful to show this now in a new Hartlepool!

Complementing the exhibition will be images by photography students from the Northern School of Art, capturing what Hartlepool means to them, and reminiscences of the 1960s contributed by local people.

Councillor Bob Buchan, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Adult and Community-Based Services Committee, said: “We are privileged and delighted to be able to showcase this exceptional series of photographs by John Bulmer for the first time in Hartlepool. The people of Hartlepool are renowned for both their strength and their friendliness and these images capture both. The photographs provide a remarkable and very poignant snapshot in time of a town which in the intervening years has changed massively and is currently undergoing further major regeneration.

John Bulmer: Northern Light
Hartlepool Art Gallery
27 January - 4 May 2024.
Hartlepool Art Gallery is located in Church Square and is open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am – 5pm
Entry is free.

Images: Hartlepool 1963, John Bulmer. © Popperfoto

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Since September 2022, people across England have been responding to an online national call out to submit their photographs of the high street on Instagram under the hashtag #PicturingHighStreets. Now, these 204 winning photographs have entered the Historic England Archive – the nation’s archive for England’s historic buildings, archaeology and social history – alongside 173 new images taken as part of local projects with resident artists on high streets.

Picturing High Streets has been a partnership between Historic England and Photoworks, helping to build a contemporary picture of England’s high streets through mass public participation and community engagement. It has revealed how important the high street can be as a space for people to come together and connect.

The Picturing High Streets call out and exhibition marks the final year of Historic England’s High Streets Cultural Programme and the £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zones Programme which has been revitalising more than 60 high streets across England.

Works by resident artists based across England will be seen together for the first time in the Archive. Artists in Bristol, Chester, Coventry, Leicester, Prescot, Stoke-on-Trent and London have engaged with local communities through socially engaged practice to produce snapshots of how the high street is used and who it is used by including the local customs and traditions linked to the high street in different parts of the country. The six main resident photographers benefitted from mentoring support delivered by Impressions Gallery (Bradford), Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool), GRAIN Projects, FORMAT/QUAD, London College of Communication (University of the Arts London), Redeye The Photography Network, ReFramed and The Photographers’ Gallery.

From March to November 2023, photographs from the public and artists toured across towns and cities in England. Kicking off in London in the form of projections at Soho Photography Quarter the images then popped up in DerbyBristolHastingsMiddlesbrough, PrescotNorwichBradfordStoke-on-Trent and Walsall. The exhibition reached over 1.1 million people in these towns.

They were also seen by millions on digital outdoor advertising screens hosted by partner Clear Channel UK. 

The project also sought to engage the public by encouraging submissions around two major themes – bus stops and ghost signs. The bus stops call out was led and judged by Clear Channel UK. 24 ghost sign images and 150 bus stop images were submitted during each call out.



Image: 'Shudehill Street, Manchester' Call out: Art in the Streets; Location: Manchester © Rod Pengelly. Historic England Archive HEC01/128/02/17/03

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Following its World Premiere at Sheffield Doc Fest, EMU Pictures is proud to present MY FRIEND LANRE, a new feature documentary from filmmaker Leo Regan. It will open in select
UK cinemas on 29 January, including a special screening and director Q&A at Curzon Soho, before being available to watch on demand via Curzon Home Cinema from 2 February.

In MY FRIEND LANRE, acclaimed filmmaker Leo Regan draws on decades of footage to create a moving portrait of the complex life of friend and photographer, Lanre Fehintola. Regan first documented his friend’s life in the 1998 film DON’T GET HIGH ON YOUR OWN SUPPLY. Fehintola became hooked on heroin while working on a book about a group of drug addicts in Bradford. Regan caught up with him again in the 2001 film COLD TURKEY, as Fehintola attempted to break his addiction by locking himself in his flat without medication. MY FRIEND LANRE jumps two decades, to a moment when Fehintola has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Drawing from over 25 years of footage, the filmmaker presents an intensely intimate portrayal of his friend during his final months and weeks, as Lanre faces his ultimate adventure, his own terminal illness.

Moving, funny, devastating and bravely personal, MY FRIEND LANRE is a living testament to one person’s incredible life and work; a celebration of living and dying that becomes a hymn to the soul.

My Friend Lanre was supported by the BFI Doc Society Fund, awarding National Lottery funding.

My Friend Lanre

There will be a special screening with Director Q&A at Curzon Soho on 29 January at 6.20pm. Tickets and more information available here
Following its cinematic release, it will be available to watch on Curzon Home Cinema from 2 February to 31 March 2024..

Image © Lanre Fehintola

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TownsWeb Archiving has just issued a blog about a digitisation project of 1115 glass plates it was involved in for Sherborne Museum. The plates had been gifted to the museum by a local resident with around 300 believed to be the works of Adam Gosney. Gosney was an influential figure within the town during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and left his mark on Sherborne as an established and skilled photographer. 

The glass plates shine a light on an unprecedented and poignant visual narrative of the servicemen and women, including Red Cross nurses and wounded soldiers from the first wolrd war. Further glass plate negatives have unearthed glimpses into the everyday life of Sherborne residents, showcasing Sherborne's iconic buildings, past carnival festivals, and the traditional idyllic countryside surrounding the town.

Read the blog here.

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This well loved Camera Collectors' and Users'  Fair will soon be taking place and this year we are in a new Central London venue The Royal National Hotel near Russell Square on the 19th May 2024. Organised by The Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain there will be up to 100 sales tables selling user and collectable cameras, consumables, lenses, literature and images. It is not a trade show for new equipment.  If you fancy a table to clear that build up of photographic equipment phone 01920 821 831. Early buyers tickets can be obtained from the same phone number.

The Royal National Hotel, 38-51 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0DG

Public entry is from 10am-4.00pm and admission is £8 on the door from 10am to 12 noon and £5 noon to the close, for PCCGB members the entry is free.

Any late updates, the flyer and booking form can be found at



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A fascinating look at the history of London's iconic Vogue House, from the swinging sixties to the present day, Inside Vogue House is a behind-the-scenes guide by ex-Tatler art director Grant Scott to the world-famous magazines produced there and the stories of the people who made them great. The book also documents the famous Vogue Photographic Studios and the photographers and models who worked there.

 For sixty years, Vogue House has been a building where the great and the good started (or ended) their careers. A place where contemporary artists rubbed shoulders with royalty, and culture was shaped. From the mailroom to the boardroom, work experience to well-known names and everyone in between, this captivating book lays bare the creativity and chaos of popular magazine publishing through the decades.

After fifteen years as an art director for books and magazines such as Elle and Tatler, Dr Grant Scott began to work solely as a photographer for a number of commercial and editorial clients in 2000. Today he is the founder/curator of United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer and Subject Co-ordinator: Photography at Oxford Brookes, and a working photographer, documentary filmmaker, BBC radio contributor and the author of several books.

His film Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay was first screened in 2018 and he is the presenter of the A Photographic Life and In Search of Bill Jay podcasts.

Published by Orphans Publishing in April 2024 it is now on pre-sale.

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For the first time in the history of the London Blue Plaques Scheme, which has been running for more than 150 years, more plaques will be unveiled to individual women in 2024 than in any previous year, English Heritage has announced. The charity launched its ‘plaques for women’ campaign in 2016, encouraging the public to nominate more remarkable female figures from the past and this initiative is now bearing fruit on the streets and buildings of London. The pioneering women who will be celebrated by English Heritage with blue plaques in 2024 include Christina Broom, who is believed to have been Britain’s first female press photographer; Diana Beck, celebrated as the UK’s first female neurosurgeon; the jazz singer, Adelaide Hall, one of the first Black women to secure a long-term contract at the BBC; and Irene Barclay, the first woman to qualify as a chartered surveyor. English Heritage will be announcing further blue plaque recipients throughout the year.

Dr Susan Skedd, Blue Plaques Historian at English Heritage, said: “Every year, English Heritage’s blue plaques celebrate the very best of human endeavour. This year we are particularly pleased to be able to honour so many pioneering women who not only became female ‘firsts’ but who were also at the very pinnacle of achievement in their chosen fields"

Christina Broom (1862–1939): Despite only making her first experiments in photography at the age of 40, with a borrowed quarter-plate box camera, Christina Broom went on to become “the most prolific female publisher of picture postcards in Britain” and is widely considered to be the first female press photographer. She was a prominent suffrage photographer; the only woman photographer allowed into London barracks; and the only photographer permitted regularly into the Royal Mews. From 1916 onwards her pictures of the armed forces and royalty were published regularly, with the credit ‘Mrs Albert Broom’. Her plaque will be the very first blue plaque in Munster Road, Fulham where she lived and worked for 26 years.

At the time of writing English Heritage does not have a date confirmed for the unveiling. 


With thanks to Roger Mead for advising of this announcement. 

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More than 160 rare vintage prints will be exhibited as part of Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron: Portraits to Dream In, as the two photographers – who worked 100 years apart – are presented in parallel for the first time. The exhibition will present a thematic exploration of the photographic work produced throughout both artists’ entire careers, including their best known and less familiar work. Artist’s books by Francesca Woodman, which have never been exhibited in the UK, will be on display.

From 21 March to 16 June 2024, the National Portrait Gallery will display a major retrospective exhibition of work by two of the most significant photographers in the history of the medium – Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) and Francesca Woodman (1958-1981). Bringing their work together for the first time in an exhibition of this scale, it will showcase more than 160 rare vintage prints from galleries, museums and private collections, including 96 works by Woodman and 71 by Cameron, spanning the entire careers of both photographers – who worked 100 years apart.

Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron: Portraits to Dream In will offer a new way to consider these two artists, by moving away from the biographical emphasis that has often been the focus of how their work is understood. The exhibition challenges this approach in its insistence on experiencing the physical print, taking the picture making of Woodman and Cameron as a starting point for consideration of their work. While neither artist aimed for technical perfection in their printing, for each it was a dynamic and essential aspect of their creative process used to explore and extend the possibilities of photographic image making.

After an extensive curatorial research period, works by Julia Margaret Cameron have been selected for loan from major museums internationally including the Getty, Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum, New York City; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; and the National Portrait Gallery’s own Collection. Prints made by Francesca Woodman in her lifetime, nearly 20 of which have not been previously published or exhibited, have been loaned primarily from the Woodman Family Foundation in New York, who have collaborated closely on the making of the exhibition and accompanying publication, with further loans from Tate and the Rhode Island School of Design

The exhibition’s title, Portraits to Dream In, suggests that when seen side by side, both artists conjure a dream state within their work as part of their shared exploration of appearance, identity, the muse, gender and archetypes. The title of the exhibition comes from an observation made by Woodman that photographs could be ‘places for the viewer to dream in’. Both Woodman and Cameron produced work that was deeply rooted in mythology and storytelling and each made portraits of those close to them to represent these narratives. Further, both women explored portraiture beyond its ability to record appearance.

Following a thematic approach, visitors will experience the work of Woodman and Cameron moving forward and back in time between the nineteenth and twentieth century; and also within the relatively short span of years that each artist was active - neither worked for more than fifteen years. Themes on display will comprise: Declaring intentions & claiming space; Angels & Otherworldly Beings; Mythology; Doubling; Nature & femininity; Caryatids & the classical form; Men and Models & Muses.

Key works on display will include the first forays both artists made into the medium of photography, as they began to portray their unique perspectives and carve out distinctive styles. These include Cameron’s self-declared ‘first success’, a portrait of Annie Wilhemina Philpot in 1864, accompanied by Woodman’s ‘Self-portrait at thirteen’, taken during a summer holiday in Antella, Italy in 1972. Photographs depicting angelic and otherworldly figures will be presented in a dense constellation with pieces from Woodman’s evocative and often abstracted Angel series contrasted against Cameron’s more direct representations of cherubic beings and winged cupids. Not to be missed images by Francesca Woodman will include Polka Dots #5 and House #3 both made in 1976, seen alongside ethereal portraits of the British actress Ellen Terry made by Julia Margaret Cameron in 1864.


Other defining works by Woodman include Caryatid pieces from a major photographic project developed in the last year of her life in which she experimented with large scale diazotype prints, including depictions of herself and other models as caryatids – carved female figures which take the place of columns in ancient Greek temples. The exhibition will be the first to draw significant attention to Woodman’s portraits of men as well as exploring the importance of her ongoing photographs of friends. Providing additional insight into her practice, contact sheets and examples of Woodman’s artist’s books will be on display, exhibited in the UK for the first timThe exhibition will include many of Julia Margaret Cameron’s most famous and much loved portraits, including those of her niece and favorite model, Julia Jackson, who would later be the mother to Bloomsbury artists Virginia Wolf and Vanessa Bell; her striking depiction of Alice Liddell as the goddess Pomona; her portraits of prominent Victorian men including John Frederick William Herschel who she captured as he posed dramatically in The Astronomer (1867); and her frequent muses, May Prinsep and Mary Ann Hillier.

Magdalene Keaney, Curator, said: “Both Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron were utterly committed to the practice of photography and to their practice as artists without reservation. They both worked incredibly hard at times when women were marginal in the history of art and photography. I hope that visitors relish the physical experience of seeing such a large collection of prints that each artist made. They are beautiful, subtle, intricate, and beguiling. Then of course to come away knowing more about these two women artists who have defined the history of photography. I hope it poses questions about how we might think in new ways about relationships between 19th and 20th century photographic practice and what a portrait is and can be.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication, Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron: Portraits to Dream In by curator Magdalene Keaney, which will include essays and contributions from the collections curator of the Woodman Family Foundation, Katarina Jerinic, and leading photography historian, Helen Ennis.

Portraits to Dream In: Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron
21 March – 16 June 2024
National Portrait Gallery, London
Tickets £8.50 with concessions from £4.25
Talks and events based on the ehibition are also available

Image: L-R: The Dream (Mary Hillier) by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1869. Wilson Centre for Photography; Untitled, 1979 by Francesca Woodman. Courtesy Woodman Family Foundation © Woodman Family Foundation / DACS, London; Annie (My very first success in Photography), by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1864. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Self Portrait at Thirteen by Francesca Woodman, 1972. Courtesy Woodman Family Foundation © Woodman Family Foundation / DACS, London. 

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12357571900?profile=RESIZE_400xShining Lights is the first critical anthology to bring together the groundbreaking work of Black women photographers active in the UK during the 1980s and 1990s, providing a richly illustrated overview of a significant and overlooked chapter of photographic history. Seen through the lens of Britain’s sociopolitical and cultural contexts, the publication draws on both lived experience and historical investigation to explore the communities, experiments, collaborations, and complexities that defined the decades.

The innovative and diverse work created during this period spanned documentary and conceptual practices, including the experimental use of photomontage, self-portraiture, staged imagery, and photography in dialogue with other media. Shining Lights showcases the breadth of this work, illuminated by ephemera and archival material, historical essays, and roundtable conversations. First-hand experiences and critical reflections are provided by new writings by pioneers of the period, including Pratibha Parmar, Roshini Kempadoo, and Symrath Patti, alongside a foreword by Sonia Boyce. Taous Dahmani’s concluding essay provides a summary of key issues from an art historical perspective.

Amongst the fifty-seven photographers included are Maxine Walker, Ingrid Pollard, Claudette Holmes, Mohini Chandra, Carole Wright, Sutapa Biswas, Maud Sulter, Brenda Agard, Anita McKenzie, Mitra Tabrizian, Poulomi Desai, Virginia Nimarkoh, Nudrat Afza, Merle Van den Bosch, and Eileen Perrier.

Edited and researched by Joy Gregory, one of the period’s most influential photographic artists, alongside art historian Taous Dahmani, Shining Lights is an unparalleled contribution to the study of photography and the experiences of Black women artists.

Shining Lights: Black Women Photographers in 1980s–90s Britain
Joy Gregory (editor)
Autograph and Mack Books

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