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Job: Curator (Photography), Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 09:30

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery are looking for a curator (photography) of the MacKinnon Collection of over 14,000 works, covering 100 years of Scottish photography:

"The MacKinnon Collection covers 100 years of Scottish photography (1840s to 1950s), and the Curator, working with senior colleagues, will be responsible for the care, display and promotion of the 14,000 works in this key collection.  The Curator will be employed by and based at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (SNPG), part of the NGS, but also work with colleagues at the NLS. The post is funded thanks to a grant provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the acquisition and promotion of the collection. 

The Curator will be expected to have an enthusiasm for, and developing knowledge of, photographs and photographic practice, with a particular focus on Scottish photography from the 1800s. The post holder will have lead responsibility for accessioning the works, and will work with colleagues across both institutions to provide access to the collection physically and digitally, and to interpret it in engaging and inspiring ways. He/she will create metadata and other description for the collection, and will curate an exhibition of this work which will take place at the SNPG. The postholder will subsequently organise and provide interpretation for a three-venue tour around Scotland and be responsible for the evaluations and reporting to the funding bodies."

Application Deadline: 28 May 2018
Read more / apply here:

Shooting on Glass - a taster of our latest specialist blog post

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 09:15
Dry plate negative by Debbie Adele Cooper

Dry Plate Negative from Debbie Adele Cooper's Shooting on Glass master class at Street Level Photography Glasgow. Photo © Debbie Adele Cooper

To coincide with 'Reflections On A Glass Plate' Symposium in London on Thur 17 May, 2018, we invited one of the speakers to tell PCN members how a UK collection inspired her to go on a two-year journey to develop a unique process for making contemporary glass plates. A process she now teaches.

Debbie Adele Cooper is an artist, curator, participation designer and educator moving between digital and analogue, and seeking to create new conversations between the past and today. Her work as a glass plate (dry plate) photographic artist has involved creative response to, and participation with, UK photographic collections and archives including a residency at WW Winter Photographers.

Shooting on Glass by Debbie Adele Cooper
I photograph on glass plate, I love it. I love the magical quality that an image has when on seen on glass, and I love it when someone on one of my workshops makes and then shoots their first plate. This process took me years to master, but each time I make a plate I still learn something new.

5 years ago I had no idea what Dry Plate photography was or that photographs on glass existed. It was 2013 I was running a mass participation photography project for FORMAT International Photography Festival, asking people to send in photos of their working day, creating a photo map of our collective working day. I was sent a photo of people at work in a photography studio in 1900s, I was blown away by this image and contacted the submitter right away. They told me that they were a photography studio in Derby and had been photographing on Midland Road since 1850s and they had a vast collection of images which I was welcome to see, I went to visit W W Winter Ltd that very day.

They showed me around their purpose built studio and showed me some of their vast collection. On this visit, for the very first time I held a negative from the W W Winter collection, and it was also the first time I'd ever seen or heard of glass plate negatives. As a child in the 1980s I'd photographed on film, and learnt black and white processing at college, but never seen or heard of the dry plate process. I was enchanted by the glass plate as an object and wanted to know more...

...To read the rest of this article, join the network for just £25 per year (£20 concessions) 
Benefits of PCN membership include access to members' events, specialist blog, opportunities and discounts and the PCN discussion and advice forum. Your membership will also help to support our ongoing research and advocacy work.

Funded professional development opportunities from the Art Fund

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - 15:00

Are you a Curator or Museum Professional looking for affordable CPD this summer?
We're pleased to share that The Art Fund has announced it's once again supporting a series of professional development courses for curators and museum professionals. Working in partnership with Whitechapel Gallery, the Art Fund is also inviting applications for funded places.

This series of one-day courses is targeted at both early-career and more experienced curators, whether new to the topic or wishing to refresh and expand their existing knowledge. The hands-on courses will draw on the expertise of staff from across Whitechapel Gallery, as well as other industry leaders. Each course will focus on practical training and use current projects as case studies, allowing attendees to gain valuable guidance and insight from behind the scenes.
Taking place in June and July, the courses will cover the following topics (five funded places are available on each):

How to publish exhibition catalogues
Writing for the exhibition
How to fundraise – developing and managing fundraising events
How to curate a schools and community programme
Art writing for artists and critics
Curating events and public programmes
How to curate a youth programme
How to curate an exhibition with emerging artists
How to create a communications campaign
How to curate an exhibition – curating collection and archive displays

Places normally cost £195, but curators and museum professionals are invited to apply for one of 50 funded places offered by the Art Fund. More details and information on how to apply can be found on the Art Fund's website.

The deadline for applications is Friday 25 May.

New collections come online

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 14:45
Map of Salford

More of the UK’s fascinating photographic collections have recently launched online, featuring mashups of maps and images.

Timepix has been described at the Google Street View of its time - and currently features work from 1940s and 50s. Timepix is a web-based application that links old photos with the places where they were taken. It has launched with thousands of photographs from Greater Manchester, made by Ordnance Survey to map revision points. The photos are mostly from street corners, and usually feature a worker holding a white arrow aimed at the point in question, but also include lovely details from the era - passers-by and curious onlookers, shopfronts and verges, front gardens and endless gateposts. Learn more at and explore the map itself at

Britain from Above
Meanwhile, which relaunched in 2017, starts from a similar map interface, but gathers together 95,000 aerial photos of the country from the Aerofilms collection that were taken between 1919 and 1953. Most urban and many rural areas are covered, and a free account allows users to zoom into photographs and add pins with information. As with Timepix, prints can be purchased.

Prince Albert
A project to digitise and publish Prince Albert’s private collections has been given the go-ahead. The Prince Albert Digitisation Project, at the Royal Collection Trust, will include over 10,000 photographs collected and commissioned by Albert between 1841-1862, by many of the earliest pioneers of British photography. More info via The Guardian.


Job: Archive Manager, Autograph ABP

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 12:30

Autograph is looking for a Full Time Archive Manager to help undertake a programme of work to catalogue and care for their unique photographic collection, as well as assess the potential to achieve accreditation.

Since its foundation in 1988, Autograph has been collecting and archiving material which reflects its mission to use photography to explore questions of cultural identity, representation, social justice and human rights. Autograph's archive contains digital and analogue assets dating from the 1860s to current day and includes work commissioned from significant contemporary artists and photographers. The archive features the work of renowned fine art practitioners, social documentary photographers, vernacular family photography and high street studio portraiture, material around the Windrush generation as well as the earliest examples of black people photographed in the UK during the Victorian era.

Do you have strong technical and practical project management experience of managing and caring for culturally significant archive assets? This could be your opportunity to work with a collection covering key periods in the formation of diasporic communities in Britain, including circa 5,000 prints, more than 10,000 negatives, and several thousand digital and analogue contact sheets (plus related ephemera), and a large digital archive.

Deadline for applications: Friday 4 May 2018 by 5pm.

Click here to view the job listing on Autograph ABP's website, or contact for further details.

Exhibition Opening: China and Siam, Through the Lens of John Thomson

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 11:15

A Travelling Chiropodist, Beijing, 1871 – 72 © The Wellcome Library, London

The Brunei Gallery will be exhibiting the first London Exhibition of Scottish photographer John Thomson to encompass his 10 years in Asia. Thomson’s photography across China, Siam (Thailand) and Cambodia was widely praised by his peers and continues to enthuse new audiences today. 

John Thomson (1837–1921) began his travels in Asia in 1862 and his photographs of his journey form one of the most extensive records of any region taken in the nineteenth century. Thomson's photographs were were taken only two decades after the invention of photography and working with the wet collodion process he travelled with cumbersome crates, glass negatives, a portable dark room, as well as highly flammable and poisonous chemicals. 

Thomson's photographed subjects including King Mongkut Rama IV, his royal family and entourage, Angkor Wat, the Chao Phraya River, temples and monks, dancers and musicians. Thomson's role as a pioneer of photojournalism is marked by his desire to present a true to life representation of the people of Asia, whether this was the rich and famous or this was people working on the streets. 

His collection of 700 glass plates travelled back with Thomson to Britain in 1872 and since 1921 has been housed and preserved at the Wellcome Library, London. The extensive collection of photographs will be exhibited alongside a selection of Qing robes, textiles and Siamese court objects.

The exhibition opens on the 13th April at the Brunei Gallery SOAS, University of London and continues until 23th June.

Admission is free. 

More information and a video trailer for the exhibition can be found here.

Event: The All-Seeing Eye: Vision and Eyesight Across Time and Cultures

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 16:30

On the 11th of April, a day long workshop lead by Gemma Almond will take place at Swansea University. The workship will focus on the subject of the eye and of vision from both a contemporary and historical perspective. As an often provoking subject, vision has been at the centre of society and culture for its various medical, social and cultural meanings. Gemma will explore how these views have influenced how the eye is perceived, through the ways that the symbolism of vision, or lack of, has been perceived. 

Registration for the event is free, and a select number of student bursaries for travel and accommodation are available thanks to the support of the AHRC CDP Student Led Activity Fund and the Royal Historical Society (please express your interest on the booking form and contact Gemma Almond for details.

More information is avaliable here.
The draft programme and booking information are avaliable here.

Exhibition Opening: Into the Woods: Trees in Photography

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 16:00

Tal Shochat, Rimon (Pomegranate), 2011. Museum no. E.1127-2012. © Tal Shochat

On until Sunday, 22 April 2018, The Victoria and Albert Museum present Trees in Photography, a display as party of their Into the Woods series to mar the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest and the launch of the 2017 Charter for Trees, Woods and People. Including work by 40 photographers including Paul Strand, Robert Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson, the display explores the ways in which trees have been displayed from the emergence of photography in the mid-19th century from botanical records to creative expression.

From the V&A Website:
Trees were among the first photographic subjects collected by this Museum as a learning resource for artists and designers. The V&A has continued to acquire photographs of trees in various contexts: within landscapes and forests, as lone subjects, in relationship to humans, in rural and urban settings, and as symbols of cultural significance.

More can be found out here.

Exhibition Opening: Jerwood/Photoworks Awards:
 new work by Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Sam Laughlin and Lua Ribeira at Impressions Gallery, Bradford

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 14:45

© Lua Ribeira, Pesadilla Ligera (Weightless Nightmare), from the series Subida al Cielo

The Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Photoworks have collaborated in this exhibition, The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards. The three photographers featured in the exhibition Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Sam Laughlin and Lua Ribeira were selected from a national open call of over 350 applicants. The Awardees were commissioned through the awards to produce new work as well as benefitted from a year’s mentoring from internationally-renowned specialists including photographer Mitch Epstein, publisher Michael Mack, and gallerist Maureen Pale. The awards are supported by Arts Council England and Spectrum Photographic.

More can be found about the exhibition and the photographers work here.

Exhibition Opening: The Great British Seaside at Royal Museums Greenwich

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 14:15

New Brighton, Merseyside, 'Last Resort', 1983-85 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Featuring over 100 photographs from the archives of Tony Ray-Jones, David Hurn, Simon Roberts and Martin Parr as well as new work from Martin Parr, 'The Great British Seaside' celebrates all aspects of British seaside life.

From the RMG's website:
Examine the ambiguities and absurdities of seaside life through this major exhibition of over 100 photographs. All four photographers share a love of the seaside which reveals itself in playful and often profound representations of the British by the sea while still bringing their own distinctive take on the seaside experience. Ray-Jones gives us a social anthropologist’s view, Hurn’s is a nostalgic love letter to the beach, Parr provides an often-satirical examination of class and cliché while Roberts explores our collective relationship with, and impact on, the coast.

For more information and to book tickets click here.


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