“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. Having specialised in portraiture for many years, I was captivated by the portrait of Isambard Kingdom Brunel taken by Victorian pioneer photographer Robert Howlett. I then led a successful campaign to restore and rededicate his neglected grave. Details of the restoration can be found here.
A comprehensive knowledge of Robert Howlett’s life and photographic work has been accumulated, and welcome speaking requests or any contact regarding his photographic legacy. A full biography and catalogue of his work is in progress.
Researching Howlett’s life has built an extensive knowledge of the early photography of civil engineering.
Another area of great interest are the early pioneering British female photographers. An ongoing blog is available as an information resource featuring early female photographers.
I presented a Lunchtime Lecture discussing early women photographers on 3rd May 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery Ondaatje Wing Theatre.
On 20th 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’s Britain in Focus.
Details of guest blogs for the Talbot Catalogue Raisonné and Royal Society are here.
The first biography of Robert Howlett’s colleague Thomas Frederick Hardwich is available at www.photohistories.com
Follow me @Roseteanby