Category Archives: History of photography in China

A Chan (Ya Zhen) in Guangzhou

This nice view of a commercial street in Guangzhou (Canton), that has been on the Historical Photographs of China website for a while, has been identified as the work of A Chan (雅真 Ya Zhen), an early Chinese photographer who … Continue reading

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The John Gurney Fry Collection: tea, silver and chocolates

Jamie Carstairs, who manages the Historical Photographs of China Project, writes about a collection just added to the HPC site. Last year, an album of 124 photographs  was generously donated by Richard Ambrose to the Historical Photographs of China project, care of … Continue reading

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Commemorating John Thomson: Edinburgh to install a Bronze Plaque

Jamie Carstairs, who manages the Historical Photographs of China Project, nominated John Thomson for a plaque in Edinburgh. The independent plaques panel at Heritage Environment Scotland (HES) announced yesterday that a plaque to commemorate the Scottish photographer John Thomson (1837-1921), is … Continue reading

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Charles Frederick Moore (1837-1916), a photographer in China

Jamie Carstairs, who manages the Historical Photographs of China Project, follows up  serendipitous events, leading to a rabbit hole, in which a ‘new’ nineteenth century China photographer was found. ‘Mr. C. F. Moore, in the service of the Customs at Ningpo, … Continue reading

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Restored – the grave of pioneering travel photographer John Thomson

Jamie Carstairs, who manages the Historical Photographs of China Project, reports on the tribute to the photographer John Thomson FRGS, whose grave has now been restored. John Thomson (1837-1921) is acclaimed in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger’s The Photobook: A History … Continue reading

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Reversing Robert Capa’s gaze: Wuhan, 1938

Ooo, look: our eagle-eyed Project Manager Jamie Carstairs spotted this wonderful photograph taken in 1938 by Robert Capa in Hankou (Wuhan) and recently published in MAGNUM China (Colin Pantall and Zheng Ziyu, eds, Thames & Hudson, 2018): This is one of … Continue reading

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In and outside the combat zone: The Regimental Museums Project (2)

Dr Andrew Hillier completes his introduction to The Regimental Museums Project by discussing some of the more nuanced aspects of military photography and the importance of regimental archives. Aside from Felix Beato’s photographs of the Second Opium War, referred to … Continue reading

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In and outside the combat zone: The Regimental Museums Project (1)

In the first of two blogs, Dr Andrew Hillier introduces a new Historical Photographs of China initiative – the Regimental Museums Project – which he is coordinating, and which will draw on photographs in regimental and national collections, to explore … Continue reading

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‘A Darkly Mysterious Instrument’: Through China with John Thomson

Dr Andrew Hillier discusses the China photographs of John Thomson (1837-1921) in the light of a recent exhibition of his work at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS. One of two hundred images published in John Thomson’s Illustrations of China and its … Continue reading

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The Kodak comes to Peking

Dr Andrew Hillier has been looking at the unpublished letters of a British Student Interpreter, later Consul, Walter Clennell. The correspondence highlights the importance of photography to Legation life in Beijing in the late 1880s. Andrew recently completed his PhD at the University … Continue reading

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