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The Gevaert Paper Project: unlocking a reference collection of photographic paper, packaging and documentation (2020-2024) is a project of FOMU – Fotomuseum Antwerpen (Photomuseum Antwerp) and was set up after the museum acquired the historical collection Agfa-Gevaert in 2017. The goal of the project is to preserve the rapidly disappearing knowledge about analogue photography and to give the general public access to a wealth of information concerning photographic paper, photo documentation, packaging and sample books from the period 1894-1964.

Because of the size of the historical collection, the Gevaert Paper Project focusses solely on the photographic papers, packaging and documentation. The 67 samples of photographic paper included in the historical collection, supplement the 1110 samples of photographic paper from the FOMU’s own collection. In the end, 1300 photo paper packaging and 70 hanging folders were digitised and registered as part of the project.


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12436192500?profile=RESIZE_400xCentral Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and the National Portrait Gallery have announced the availability of a fully funded Collaborative Doctoral Studentship from October 2024 through the REACH consortium under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme.

Harry Diamond: Visualising Migrant London, is a project that raises the archive of the self-taught Jewish photographer as articulating diversity, migrant presence, and urban change in post-war London. In providing a framework for future access to the Diamond archive, and by examining and interpreting an under-researched part of the NPG’s Collection, the project provides engagement with London’s multi-cultural communities from an institution based at its heart.

The aims are to:

  • Situate people’s shifting sense of place, origins and identity in Diamond’s photographs.
  • Trace Diamond’s networks as a Jewish photographer living and working in London’s East End.
  • Locate Diamond within London’s visual history.

The objectives are to:

  • Document living memory of Diamond and the individuals, groups and communities he portrayed.
  • Engage with communities, cultural organisations, local studies archives and libraries, preservation societies, and artist groups to raise Soho and Whitechapel as loci for Diamond.
  • Contextualise Diamond’s work in relation to post-war cultures of documentary photography and film representing the two London districts.

12436193489?profile=RESIZE_400xKey research questions

The student will be encouraged to pursue their own original enquiries, situating the project within the following principal research questions:

  • Who and where did Diamond photograph?
  • What do his photographs made in Soho and Whitechapel articulate about their communities?
  • What do Diamond’s photographs articulate about diversity, migrant presence, and urban change in post-war London, and how might these terms be defined?
  • How do Diamond’s photographs inform perceptions of London’s population in the 1970s and 1980s, and how might the work be situated in relation to existing literature on London as a migrant city?

This project will be jointly supervised by Alistair O’Neill, Professor of Fashion History and Theory at Central Saint Martins, Val Williams, Professor of the History and Culture of Photography at London College of Communication, Clare Freestone, Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery and Dr Sabina Jaskot-Gill, Senior Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery. The student will be expected to spend time at both CSM and the NPG, as well as becoming part of the wider cohort of CDP funded students across the UK. The studentship can be studied either full or part-time.

Details and applications here:

Images: (top) Lucian Freud with his children Rose and Alexander Boyt by Harry Diamond, gelatin silver print, 1974. NPG x210024; (right) Unidentified boy, Whitechapel, London, by Harry Diamond, gelatin silver print, late 1970s. NPG x210305; (leftHarry Diamond, Brick Lane, self-portrait, gelatin silver print, 1973. NPG x199373

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The Cantor Arts Center is seeking a curatorial fellow to work with its collection of photography, reporting to the Assistant Curator of Photography and New Media. The fellow will be expected to participate in scholarly museum production, including cataloging, research, exhibition planning and implementation, related program development, and collection care. The primary goal of the fellowship is to produce new and innovative research on the Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection, a pillar of the collection’s strength in twentieth-century photography of the United States, and propose a focused, single-gallery exhibition. The Cantor seeks a candidate who has the interest and skills to use the CGF Collection as the basis for scholarship that narrates new stories of photography and centers a wider range of perspectives within the twentieth-century American experience and its historical and global contexts. The fellow should be committed to fostering dialogue around historical and contemporary issues of interpretation, representation, and other relevant concerns.

Capital Group Foundation Curatorial Fellow for Photography
The Cantor Arts Center, Stanford, California, USA

3 year fixed-term (Sep 2024 – Aug 2027)
The role will remain open until filled. Applications will start being reviewed in two weeks

Full details:

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To tie in with the opening of the National Library of Scotland's new display ‘Images of Italy, 1480-1900’, Professor Sandra Kemp,  Director of The Ruskin Museum and Research Centre at Lancaster University, will give a talk on the extraordinarily detailed work Ruskin took with daguerreotype photography between 1845 and 1858, described at the time as "the most marvellous invention of the century".

To book a free ticket for the event, held at the Library's George IV Bridge building in Edinburgh from 17.30-18.30 on 16 May, please follow this link.

Please note that the talk will not be available online.

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12432976878?profile=RESIZE_400xRHS Lindley Collections, one of the finest horticultural libraries in the world, are undertaking a project to document the history of the internationally famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This exciting role focuses on cataloguing our historic photography collections relating to Chelsea with a view to making the collection accessible via the public catalogue.

The photography collections sit within the wider RHS Heritage Collections of botanical art, archives, objects and ephemera. They comprise prints, transparencies, and glass negatives, and include coverage of RHS Chelsea since its inception in 1913 to the present day.

We are initially recruiting for an 8-month fixed term post, running until the end of January 2025.

To work for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is to join a thriving charity, whose mission is to inspire everyone to grow. Everything we do is built on the transformational power of gardening – and the benefits it brings to people, places and our planet.

Job Title:            Project Cataloguer (Photographs)          
Location:            RHS Lindley Library, London                    
Salary:                £18,112pa (£30,187 FTE)
Hours:                 21 hours per week        
Contract:            Fixed term contract until end of January 2025
Details and apply online:

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A private and unusually large collection of Chinese photographs is the major focus of the forthcoming Photography auction at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on Wednesday 22 May. The collection appears to have been collected by Johann Carl Albert Jahreis. He was born in 1865 in Münchberg, Germany, and died in Hong Kong in 1890, where he is buried. According to family lore he went to China to open a brewery but otherwise almost nothing is known about him. From further research it seems highly likely that he is the same person as the 'A. Jahreis' who is listed in several of the China and Hong Kong Directories published in the late 1880s, where his position was given as clerk for the German merchants Eduard Schellhass & Co. in Shanghai.
The photographs are mostly mounted on individual mounts, with often lengthy German inscriptions on the backs. The collection comprises more than 100 China photographs and over 50 photographs of Japan, Ceylon, Italy and Egypt. Until now the collection has been preserved in an antique cloth box with Jahreis's name and home town inscribed on the inner lid. The 107 China photographs (65 lots) are notable for their fine condition and exceptional tonal quality, and mostly can be dated to around 1870. They include a number of rare images by William Saunders (1832-1892), Major James Crombie Watson (1833-1908), Pun Lun (1864-c.1900) and Henry Cammidge (1839-1874). 
Digital catalogues in various formats will be available on the website from 10 May; printed catalogues from 13 May. Public viewing daily on Monday/Tuesday 20/21 May, 9.30-5.30, and day of sale from 9am; all other times by appointment.
For further information and enquiries please contact Chris Albury | 01285 860006
Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Mallard House, Broadway Lane, South Cerney, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5UQ
Image: Pun Lun (1864-c.1900). Advertising collage of portrait photographs, c. 1870, albumen print, 19.5 x 27 cm
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12432828691?profile=RESIZE_400xThe Oberver newpaper today features part of a recent acquisition by the Bodleian Libraries showing indiginous Alaskans. The photographs were made around 1900 by several photographers, including Missouri-born Beverly Bennett Dobbs and two European emigrants to the US, HG Kaiser and Albert F Johnson, followed a gold rush to Nome, Alaska.

The photographs are part of the Library's Wilson Collection comprising several hundred albums and photographic books  donated by Michael and Jane Wilson and the Wilson Centre of Photography. The deposit, consisting of over 1,000 items from the 19th and early 20th centuries, contains rare salt prints from the dawn of photography made by some of the earliest photographic practitioners. The items include masterpieces of travel photography from across the globe, photographs held in Victorian scrapbooks and family albums, together with early outstanding examples of photographically illustrated books. The photographs in the Wilson Collection are renowned for being of exceptional quality, and outstanding in their range and depth. 

A significant part of the Wilson Collection comprises examples of early photography, including rare salt prints, photographic albums, and scrapbooks. The deposit of these items in the Bodleian’s holdings provide a new opportunity for the study of photographic materials that are either previously unknown, or incredibly rare.

One of the remarkable characteristics of the collection is the presence of a large number of salt prints, for example contained in an album made by early photographer Fallon Horne, portraying his family, friends and home. Salt prints are one of the very earliest photographic processes and are incredibly fragile and rare. The Fallon Horne album will contribute a further 100 salt prints to the Bodleian’s existing holdings. 

The deposit contains several remarkable examples of early travel and exploration photography and British photographic literature

Michael G Wilson OBE says: "Following forty years of collecting works from the history of photography, we are delighted that many of the albums, books and photographs from the Wilson Centre for Photography will now be cared for by the Bodleian Libraries, an institution which provides excellent access to scholars and the wider public. In the coming years, we look forward to further collaborations, exciting discoveries, and fresh perspectives from the Bodleian and its community."

Richard Ovenden OBE, Bodley’s Librarian, who himself is a historian of photography, says: "The masterpieces from the Wilson Collection are an unrivalled resource for studying and appreciating the greatest photographs and photographers from the first century of the new art/science. The Wilson Centre has been wonderfully welcoming to researchers and institutions for many years, and the Bodleian, now entrusted with this astonishing collection, the fruit of Michael’s singular vision, looks forward to continuing that great work, and in inspiring students, encouraging researchers, and in enabling the serious understanding of photography’s great contribution to civilisation through its earliest proponents. We are immensely grateful to Michael and Jane for their vote of confidence in our mission."


Image: B B Dobbs, Inuit man with child. Courtesy Bodleian Libraries, Oxford / Wilson Collection 

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Autograph adds photography to Art UK

12432605660?profile=RESIZE_400xAutograph, the London venue with a mission  to champion the work of artists who use photography and film to highlight questions of race, representation, human rights and social justice, has added artwork to Art UK's website. Included is work from Joy Gregory, Sunil Gupta, Syd Shelton and Roti Fani-Kayode. Some 123 artworks have been added. Separately, Bindi Vora has been appointed senior curator. 

Autograph currently holds approximately 5,000 prints, 10,000+ negatives, 5,000 slides, as well as several thousand contact sheets and a small amount of archival film and ephemera, and the collection continues to grow. 

Art UK is the online home for every public art collection in the United Kingdom. It brings together art from over 3400 British institutions and shows over 300,000 works by over 50,000 artists. 


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Join us in Sunderland, UK or online for this 3 day international conference which aims to bring together curators, archivists, artists, and scholars and researchers across disciplines, such as art history, visual culture, photography, museum, curating and archival studies, to explore international shifts in museum practices and their implications for global photographic cultures.


Photography entered the museum shortly after its invention in the 19th century, serving as a reproduction tool, a scientific process, a printmaking method, and an expressive medium. However, precisely because of these multiple functions, photography’s accommodation posed challenges then, as it does now with the mutable nature of contemporary “post-photographic,” born-digital images. 

This conference seeks to examine the past, current and future positioning of photography and its rich histories within museums. It aims to bring together curators, museum workers, archivists, artists, scholars and researchers across disciplines, such as art history, visual culture, photography, museum, curating and archival studies, to explore international shifts in museum practices and their implications for global photographic cultures. 

Key questions and issues include, but are not limited to: 

  • In an era of “massification” of images, how can museums collect analogue and born-digital photography strategically to create relevant and sustainable photographic collections for the future?
  • In what ways institutional practices—in terms of collecting, accessioning, documentation, preservation, and accessibility—need to be adapted or what new methods are required to accommodate different types of photographic images, including “networked images” and “computational photography,” in museum collections?
  • How can photography’s vernacular cultures be collected and displayed in the physical and virtual museum?
  • How can normative exhibition practices be adapted to engage diverse transnational publics, online and on site?
  • How can photography be used as an accessible vehicle within the museum to consider broader social and political issues and processes?
  • How can museum practices facilitate a two-way interaction with audiences, enabling them to acquire agency in influencing what the museum does as a social site?
  • In what ways can photography within the museum context contribute to the decolonisation process for its audiences?
  • What does an inclusive transnational history of photography look like?
  • How may commissioning expand an institution’s discursive space?

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UCL's School of European Languages, Culture and Society - Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry is hosting two events that will be of interest to BPH readers. 

  • 22 May 2024 / Stereoscopic Vision in the Plantationocene from Debashree Mukherjee, Associate Professor at Columbia University
    This talk draws on my ongoing work towards a monograph titled "Tropical Machines: Extractive Media and Plantation Modernity.” I track 19th century experiments with media technologies in tropical islands that, I argue, served as laboratories for modern regimes of labour, resource extraction, as well as vision. I locate this story in the era of emancipation, in the wake of the abolition of plantation slavery in British colonies in 1834 which created a massive demand for labour to replace the labour of those who were formerly enslaved. This story is therefore plotted along the itineraries of indentured and technically voluntary “coolie” labour from South Asia to sugar colonies such as Mauritius and Fiji. In this talk I focus on the short-lived technology of the stereoscope which was extensively used in the 1860s-1910s to image plantations and their workers. I speculate on the popularity of stereographic “plantation views” to ask if it is time to displace the city and the factory as the founding sites for film history. Building on work that posits the plantation as the precursor to the factory and modern regimes of labour management, I set up a parallel between the stereograph and the plantation as tropical machines that generate new techniques of the body and new regimes of vision.
  • 2 May 2024 / Camera Geologica: Photography and Resource Extraction, from Siobhan Angus, Assistant Professor at Carleton University
    Challenging the emphasis on immateriality in discourses on photography, this talk focuses on the inextricable links between image-making and resource extraction, revealing how mining is a precondition of photography. Photography begins underground and, in photographs of mines and mining, frequently returns there. Through a materials-driven analysis of visual culture, I illustrate histories of colonization, labour, and environmental degradation to explore the ways in which photography is enmeshed within and enables global extractive capitalism. Reading materiality alongside representation and visual form reveals a complex picture of photography’s implication within extractive capitalism and, in turn, its potential to resist it.

Both events are free to attend and run from 1700-1830 (BST) at: 

North-West Wing Lecture Theatre G22
Wilkins Main Building
Gower Street

The event organiser is: 
Kirsty Sinclair Dootson – SELCS

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We cordially invite you to the lecture from the cycle Collegium historiae artium, which will be given by Anthony Hamber (independent photographic historian, London) on the topic of The 1840s: Transformations in Reprographics.

In January 1839, when the photographic processes of Daguerre and Talbot were announced, there was an existing, mature, and extensive printing and reprographics industry in all industrialised countries. The most significant printing process was that of lithography. Almost immediately there was a wave of experimentation in developing a photomechanical process. Those experimenters were primarily scientists and did not form part of the existing reprographics industries. Photographic historians have tended to repeat the same list of experimenters, primarily from France, Austria, and the United Kingdom. Emerging evidence suggests that during the 1840s – described as a comparative “gap” in scholarly research – photomechanical experimentation was in fact more widespread. This paper examines the speed of the distribution of news of Daguerre’s and Talbot’s processes and discusses a number of the photomechanical experiments that followed. A key consideration examined is why the contemporary printing and reprographics industries did not adopt photography during the 1840s to develop commercial photomechanical processes and accompanying services. A short case study underlines how one individual, with much experience in transfer lithography, played a crucial role in the late 1850s in the development of photozincography at the UK’s national cartographic agency (Ordnance Survey).

The 1840s: Transformations in Reprographics
24 April 2024 at 1630 (CET); 1530 (BST)

Lecture by Dr Anthony Hamber
Hosted by Institute of Art History, Prague
Details and Zoom link:

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Known as one of the pillars of 20th-century fashion photography, Norman Parkinson dazzles the world from the 1930s to the 1980s with his sparkling inventiveness. He gives new impetus to celebrity portraiture, photographing the most prominent artists and celebrities, including Audrey Hepburn, Jerry Hall, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones and Jane Birkin. His long association with Vogue and extensive work for Harper’s BazaarQueenTown & Country and other international magazines earn him worldwide recognition.

Celebrated for the liveliness, spontaneity and humour of his photographs, as well as for his use of outdoor locations around the globe, the British photographer helped change the static, posed approach to fashion photography with his impulsive, imaginative style. 

The exhibition features 79 of Norman Parkinson’s best-known images, as well as recent discoveries from his remarkable photographic portfolio and a selection of 56 covers of major magazines shot between the 1950s and 1970s. Several magnificent pieces from the McCord Stewart Museum’s Dress, Fashion and Textiles collection are also on display: 10 high-end dresses and ensembles made between the 1930s and the 1970s by French designers Christian Dior, Jacques Griffe, Jean Patou, Louis Féraud and Guy Laroche, Italian André Laug and British designers Digby Morton and Hardy Amies, plus four creations by Quebec milliners Fanny Graddon and Yvette Brillon.

The exhibition, shown at the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Centro Cultural de Cascais in Portugal, is curated by Terence Pepper OBE and co-curated by Iconic Images.

Norman Parkinson: Always in Style
19 April-2 September 2024
McCord Stewart Museum, Montreal

Image: Young Velvets, Young Prices, Hat Fashions, American Vogue, October 1949 © Iconic Images / The Norman Parkinson Archive 2024

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To mark the 120th anniversary of Kingston-born photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s death, this new exhibition presents a magnificent panorama of San Francisco that Muybridge photographed in 1878.The panorama is over five metres, and is one of the highlights of Kingston Museum’s world-class Muybridge collection.

The exhibition also features three modern panoramas of the city by American photographer Mark Klett, British artists Tom Pope and James Doyle, and American historian Nick Wright. It also displays different scenes of Kingston from the nineteenth century to the present day.

San Francisco in Kingston: Muybridge and Panoramas
10 May-2 November 2024
Thursday-Saturday, 1000-1700. Admission free 
Kingston Museum


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Alex Schneideman writes... My friend Paddy Summerfield, who has died, was broadly considered Oxford’s greatest photographer since Henry Fox Talbot. Summerfield, a child imbued from infancy in Oxford’s history and art was raised in the same house in Summertown from the age of two until he died.

Having studied at Guildford School of Art (not without controversy) Summerfield became known as a photographer in the 1980s but it was not until the publication by Dewi Lewis in 2014 of his seminal work, Mother and Father that he came to the forefront of British documentary photography.

12428183898?profile=RESIZE_400xThe photobook depicts Summerfield's parents in the garden of their north Oxford home as they tended to the lawn and plants and to each other. As the book progresses we watch as his father increasingly cares for his mother, her eventual disappearance and then the loss of his father too. In most of the photographs the parents’ faces are turned away from the
photographer-son. Summerfields images were typified by a certain spirituality and he maintained that his work had always been about “abandonment and loss” as his parents had turned their attention inward following the tragic early death of his older sister when Summerfield was two years old. However he insisted that ‘Mother and Father’ stood as a durational “love letter” to them both.

Summerfield’s first major publication was important because it established his groundbreaking use of a unique and emotional photographic ‘perspective’. His work would become representative of what became known as the ‘psychological perspective’ - in which Summerfield’s compositions place the viewer in the emotional apex of the scene, blurring the boundaries between the subject, the photographer and the viewer.

Several more books were to follow including The Oxford Pictures (2016), Empty Days (2018), The Holiday Pictures (2019) and Home Movie (2021). Each subsequent title added to Summerfield’s reputation as one of the most important contemporary British documentary photographers.

Summerfield’s photography was typically black and white but in his final years he worked mainly in colour using an old ‘flip phone’ to photograph the garden and the people who
surrounded him. Some of these were published in his final book, The Beginnings of Eternity (2023).

In 2019 Summerfield married his partner, Patricia Baker-Cassidy, who by this time had become his de-facto producer. Baker-Cassidy brought order to the chaos of Paddy’s now notorious bins of thousands of negatives that he had accumulated over decades. A visitor to the Summerfield home would often find Paddy ensconced in writing, reading or discussion with friends and photographers while Baker-Cassidy worked diligently with a film scanner, as together they put together numerous maquettes for planned new publications.

The well respected Oxford Photography Group was often hosted by Summerfield and Baker-Cassidy at his home. He supported the group and worked closely with individual photographers, many of whom went on to be published, exhibited and collected.

12428185293?profile=RESIZE_400xAlmost ten years after the publication of Mother and Father a new body of work was made by a group of photographers (including Alex Schneideman, Vanessa Winship, Sian Davey, Matthew Finn, Alys Tomlinson, Nik Roche and Jem Southam) who wanted to preserve the garden where Mother and Father had taken form and and to pay homage to Summerfield’s work. The resulting images were published as ‘Pictures from the Garden’ (as ever by Dewi Lewis) and an exhibition was staged in Oxford supported by The Photographers Gallery.

Summerfield’s work was supported by curators, academics and other photographers such as Richard Ovenden, Nicholas Serota and Martin Parr, Bill Jay and Peter Turner, then editor of Creative Camera. Summerfield’s own exhibition list is long and varied. He exhibited in solo group shows alongside such photographers as André Kertesz, Martin Parr, John Goto and Gerry Badger (who has written extensively about Summerfield’s work as well as providing texts for his publications). His work is held in national, international, private and institutional collections. It should be noted that Dewi Lewis’s sustained support of Paddy’s work brought it to the widest possible audience.

This year the Bodleian Library completed their acquisition of Summerfield’s extensive archive where plans are underway for a major exhibition in Autumn 2025.

It was a great honour for me to give Paddy what would sadly turn out to be his last solo show, The Holiday Pictures, at Flow Photographic Gallery in 2019. Sue Davis, the founder of The Photographers Gallery, then in failing health herself and accompanied by Zelda Cheatle made the trek from her home in Surrey to North West London to see the show - it was to be the last photography exhibition she would visit before her death some months later.

Paddy was the most photographic person I have ever known. It was as impossible to distinguish the man from the medium as it is sometimes to discern the sea from the sky on a blue day when both seem to merge into one.

Paddy leaves a daughter, Lucy and his wife Patricia.

Paddy Summerfield
18th February 1947 - 11th April 2024

Obituary by Alex Schneideman
London, April 2024

Image: (top) Alex Scheiderman, Paddy and Patricia; (lower two) Paddy Summerfield, from his Mother and Father series. 

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An exhibition of photographs by renowned British photographer John Bulmer has broken all recent visitor records at Hartlepool Art Gallery – and now those important images have found a permanent home there. Over 12,000 people have so far seen the exhibition – ‘John Bulmer - Northern Light’ - which runs until Saturday, 4 May, and captures the fortitude of Hartlepool people during the hardship of the 1960s.

Thanks to a substantial award from the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the support of John Bulmer himself, Hartlepool Borough Council has been able to purchase the images for Hartlepool Art Gallery’s permanent collection. Angela Thomas, Hartlepool Art Gallery Curator, said: “The response from visitors to the exhibition has been phenomenal. People have left lots of comments on our comment cards, sharing their memories of the scenes in the photographs and identifying people they recognise. I’ve never known a response like it. 

12428157277?profile=RESIZE_400x“So we’re thrilled that, thanks to the generous support of Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and John Bulmer himself, these photographs will become part of our permanent collection. “By acquiring these images, we will ensure they are preserved for future generations to look back at that moment in time before much of the local landscape changed beyond recognition.

Leanne Manfredi, National Programmes Lead at the Victoria and Albert Museum, said: “The Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund supports the purchase of a wide range of material for the permanent collections of non-nationally funded organisations in England and Wales. We are delighted that this collection of photographs by John Bulmer has been acquired by Hartlepool Art Gallery and featured in the current exhibition John Bulmer: Northern Light. They will benefit audiences for years to come.”

John Bulmer said: “I’m so glad the photographs will have a permanent home in the town where they were taken. I’m honoured that Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund have supported the purchase and would like to thank all involved.”

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. In the winter of 1962-63 he visited Hartlepool for Image magazine, taking more than 40 photographs. At the time of his 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. Despite the hardships people were facing, John Bulmer’s photographs convey a sense of resilience, humour and even optimism.

Northern Light / John Bulmer
Hartlepool Art Gallery
until 4 May 2024

Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am – 5pm
Free entry

Images: (top) John Bulmer pictured at the Northern Light exhibition. (lower) Hartlepool Art Gallery Curator Angela Thomas and John Bulmer at the exhibition. Photography: Dave Charnley Photography.

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The Colin Ford lecture recognises the significant role that Colin Ford CBE has made to British photography since the 1970s, as a curator, museum director, and scholar. This event celebrates Colin's knowledge, scholarship and long-standing interest in Julia Margaret Cameron. 2024 also sees the 150th anniversary of Cameron's Annals of My Glass House (1874) which is held in the RPS Collection at the V&A Museum, London.

Letters from Life presents live readings from correspondence between Julia Margaret Cameron and Lord Alfred Tennyson, William Thackeray, GF Watts, Sir John Herschel and Anne Thackeray Ritchie, including newly discovered letters.

Created and introduced by Kathleen McLaughlin, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

The texts will be read by Lynne Truss, Timothy West CBE and others to be announced.

Letters from Life
Monday 13 May 2024, 6 – 7.15 pm
Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG
Registration is free, but must be made via the Bodleian Library at the link here 

 Image: Julia Margaret Cameron by George Frederic Watts © National Portrait Gallery, London
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12427428682?profile=RESIZE_400xThe PHRC conference 2024 is now open for registration. There have always been unacknowledged or under-acknowledged forces that operate around photography. Some of them are human, like family members, camera assistants, darkroom personnel, curators, editors and the like. Others are non-human, like algorithms, chemicals, equipment of various sorts and transportation. The explosion of AI has pushed the field of photography studies to once again consider the practices surrounding photographs, but has at the same time neglected existing assistants like the skills force, the editors, image technicians, programmers, curators, and historians that enable and narrate photographic making. In the face of so many assistants, the primacy of the photographer as a central person through whom we understand photography recedes.

In this PHRC 2024 conference, speakers will consider the role and agency of human and non-human assistants in the making, collecting and dissemination of photographs. The papers to be delivered will employ diverse methodological perspectives that not only enlarge the notion of the photographic assistant, but also consider the role of those assistants (or that assistance) in the formation of photographic practices, images, archives and histories.

The Photographer's Assistant
Photographic History Research Centre
17-18 June 2024
Hybrid event, Online and at De Montfort University, Leicester.
Open for registration and programme here:

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While arranging a visit to the photographic archive of Central Library I discovered that they have a great many photographs which are not accessible because they have not been catalogued. There are not sufficient members of staff to catalogue them, especially in these straitened times. "You are just the sort of person we need to help us catalogue our photographs"

I now spend just one morning a week cataloguing photographs. I have just completed recording the contents of a box of 3 1/4" glass slides of Notts churches by Alfred J. Loughton. A new photographer to me but there is a website He isn't a Frederick Evans but the images are interesting.

Could you spare half a day to help your local library?

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12426247456?profile=RESIZE_400xThe Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University of Exeter has announced that it has received a £104,456 grant each year for the next five years from Research England’s Higher Education Museum and Galleries Collection Fund.  The awards recognises and supports the unique and significant contribution that the museum makes to the wider research community and enables this to grow.

The funding will be used for more staff to allow more cataloguing of the museum’s ever-growing collection. It will also enable greater digitisation of the collection so people can enjoy it remotely and give the opportunity to expand the museum’s successful stipend scheme for researchers.

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is the leading moving image museum in the UK and is home to one of the most significant such collections in the world. It was formed from the collection of the renowned director Bill Douglas and his friend Peter Jewell and many donations have been added since. Experts from around the world come to examine the 90,000-strong collection at the University of Exeter’s Streatham campus. It is also a public museum, free and open to all.

Museum Curator Dr Phil Wickham said: “Our mission is to follow in Bill Douglas’s footsteps and preserve these wonderful objects for the future and give the public and those researching the history of moving image access to them. Our collection – and interest from experts – has grown significantly in the past decade. People entrust their own collections to us because they know we will take very good care of them, and because they will be available for others to study and see.

12426247292?profile=RESIZE_400x“We are thrilled to have been given this funding from Research England. It will allow us to continue building this unique resource and further extend our reach to scholars, students and the public. It will allow us to take on further staff and support to enable further digitisation and cataloguing to open up the collections further, and initiatives to support visits from external researchers.

More than 1,000 items are on display in the museum galleries. The collection is accessible to all and covers three centuries of moving image history, including over 23,000 film books; 1,500 stereoscope cards; 650 magic lantern slides and 23 magic lanterns. There are more than thousands of items relating to stars such as Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, shadow puppets from around the world, an original 1896 Lumière Cinématographe, books signed by Thomas Edison and annotated by his inventor W.K.L Dickson, as well as many items used by ordinary film fans that makes the museum a people’s history of the moving image. In addition to objects the collection includes a significant library and archive. 


Photographs: © Michael Pritchard, October 2022

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Archive: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

BPH reported on the transfer of Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert's archive to St Andrews University in 2022 and a smaller gift to the School of Scottish Studies Architecture in 2021 (links below). Jeremy has added some further information about his archive on his website. 

It notes: As a proud Scot, and with a knowledge of the important contribution of Scots photographers to the world of photography, it was Jeremy’s wish that his collection of work, spanning the 30-years of his career to date, be held by a Scottish institution ensuring its accessibility to researchers, historians and the wider public.

Jeremy’s photographic collection consists of approximately 20TB of digital photography, comprising the RAW files of almost 1-million images all with captions, dates and keywords embedded. The edit of this work consists of approximately 20,000 images, including digitised versions of the most important stories from the work shot on film.

The collection also holds approximately 7,000+ pages of negatives newly housed and organised into archival boxes. Accompanying this are boxes of contact sheets, boxes of work prints and finished prints.

Boxes of tear sheets from his editorial career, with examples of his images as used in newspapers and magazines exist, as does the miscellanea of his 30-year career as a working photographer in Scotland and Asia.

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