“Where can an art be found that will compare with photography?
….we , who work with the sun itself, term the art which we practice a glorious art,
and feel justly proud of its capabilities.”
Thomas Frederick Hardwich 1860
I have been an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society since 1983 after gaining a Diploma in Photography. More recently I have become interested in the early days of photography, from 1860 back to 18th century pre-photography. The photography of the industrial revolution and early women photographers are of particular focus of research.
The first scholar’s day and symposium dedicated to pioneering photographer Anna Atkins was held in New York on 2nd and 3rd of November 2018. I presented the keynote speech outlining her extraordinary life, work and legacy.
In 2017 I led a successful crowdfunding campaign to restore and rededicate Victorian pioneer photographer Robert Howlett’s neglected grave. Details of the restoration can be found here.
A full biography of Robert Howlett’s short but eventful life, and a comprehensive catalogue of his work are in progress.
The first biography of Robert Howlett’s close friend Thomas Frederick Hardwich is available at www.photohistories.com
Researching Howlett’s life has built an extensive knowledge of the early photography of civil engineering, particularly Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Robert Stephenson.
Another area of great interest are early female photographers. An ongoing blog is available as an information resource, collecting together current available information and concentrating on women with little previous online presence.
I presented a Lunchtime Lecture discussing early women photographers on 3rd May 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery Ondaatje Wing Theatre. Anna Atkins was crowned the first British female photographer.
In July 2017 the National Portrait Gallery hosted my Lunchtime Lecture featuring the portrait of Isambard Kingdom Brunel with the launching chains of the SS Great Eastern, telling the hidden story behind the iconic image. This built upon the brief overview provided in episode one of BBC Four Britain In Focus.
Guest blogs have been provided for the Talbot Catalogue Raisonné and Royal Society here.
Follow me @Roseteanby