Sunday, April 10, 2011

An Art-Photographic Exhibition.

Evening Post (Wellington, New Zealand)
Volume LI, Issue 65, 17 March 1896, Page 4

An Art-Photographic Exhibition.

It has frequently been said that a photograph is not a picture, and that little of the artistic faculty is necessary in order to take a good photograph. Such statements would not apply to the exhibition of photographs by leading English photographers which will be held at the Camera Club's room, Exchange Buildings, on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The collection is a loan one, sent through New Zealand for the purpose of showing the latest developments of photographic art in England.

The largest and perhaps most striking of the pictures is by H. P. Robinson, and is entitled "Storm Clearing Off." The light and cloud effects of this study of a bleak moor, in the foreground of which is a flock of sheep, are splendid.

Henry Peach Robinson (1830-1901)
Storm Clearing Off
Platinum print. 1894.
19½ x 15 1/8in. (49.5 x 38.5cm.)
Notes: this image was one of several exhibited by Robinson at The Photographic Salon in 1894.

Another large study, two girls picking forget-me-nots in a blossom filled garden, is a beautiful specimen of camera work. "A Primrose by the River's Brim," the work of Ralph W. Robinson, is perfectly charming in composition and execution. John H. Gear shows a vigorous and humorous picture entitled "Sermontime - Forty Winks." Two reproductions that give effects as fine as etchings are the work of J. B. Wellington. An "impressionist" picture entitled "Benfleet Ford" is a fine example of the beauty to be found in a common subject. The effect of this picture is delightfully soft.

W. and D. Downey send several well-known reproductions of art studies. Quaint child studies come from the camera of Hall Edwards, the best of which, entitled "The Mystery of Life," pictures a naked child contemplating a dead bird. J. H. Coath also contributes some humorous poses of children. Charles Job has a fine, excellently wrought out, mezzotype, entitled "Evening."

The exhibition includes the best work of many other English photographers, and though small, should certainly be visited by all interested in photography or art. A small admission charge has been made by the Camera Club in order to defray expenses.

Star (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Issue 5540, 15 April 1896, Page 4

The representative collection of photographic pictures by British and Continental workers included in the catalogue of the recent exhibition of the photo section of the Philosophical Institute has now come to hand, and was examined with great interest by the members at their meeting last night.

The collection includes fifty-six prints by the following leading workers:—

J. H. Avery (John Henry Avery)
H. W. Bennett
W. A. Cadby (Will. A. Cadby)
Chevalier La Fosse
J. H. Coath (John H. Coath)
C. Court Cole
W. and D. Downey (William Downey and Daniel Downey)
Dr. Hall Edwards
Colonel J. Gale. (Joseph Gale)
J. H. Gear (John Henry Gear, FRPS)
A. Horsley Hinton (Alfred Horsley Hinton)
G. James
C. Job (Charles Job)
E. G. Lee (Edgar G. Lee)
B. Lintott (Bernard Lintoot)
Henry P. Robinson - (Henry Peach Robinson)
Ralph. W. Robinson (Ralph Winwood Robinson)
L. Sawyer (Edward Lyddell Sawyer)
W. Thomas
Walter D. Welford
J. B. B. Wellington - (James Booker Blakemore Wellington)
B. Gay Wilkinson (Benjamin Gay Wilkinson)
H. Yea

Where such good all-round work is seen, it is difficult to individualise, though a few of the prints are of greater interest than the others. Perhaps the most striking is that entitled "Storm Clearing Off," by the veteran worker H. P. Robinson, who may truly be designated "the father of art photography." In the foreground a mob of sheep has gathered on the edge of a marshy pool, while great masses of wild storm clouds complete a picture which would go a long way to convince the most determined opponent of art photography that there is some art in using a camera intelligently. Other works by the same artist are of genre subjects familiar the whole world over, entitled "When the Day's Work is Done," "Dawn and Sunset," "A Merry Tale," "Carolling."

When the Day's Work is Done
The J. Paul Getty Trust
Albumen print from six negatives
22 1/16 x 29 5/16 in.

The veteran's son, Ralph W. Robinson, is represented by "A Primrose by the River's Side," a beautifully soft landscape with figures, charming in its simplicity. A. Horsley Hinton, one of the leaders of the "fuzzy-all-over" school, is represented by "Benfleet Ford," which is a good example of his style, a style that has not yet reached the colonies.

Some splendid interiors are contributed by C. Court Cole and J. H. Gear, the latter of whom also sends a capital genre study entitled "Sermon Time," showing a man in "the sere and yellow leaf" enjoying forty winks on a seat near a church door. The lighting is excellent, and the pose of the subject is perfectly natural and at ease.

J. B. B. Wellington is represented by "A Still Delight Steals o'er the Earth" and "Eventide," delightful evening landscapes, in a style which this artist has made quite his own, while some genre work shows that he has not neglected that field. Hall Edwards has some studies of the nude, which, though good work, only serve to show that the camera does not portray the nude and partially nude in the manner that the brush does.

James Booker Blakemore Wellington

W. A. Cadby's "Reflections," a red chalk carbon study, repays inspection. H. W. Bennett's "Fishing Boat," a moonlight effect, will appeal to all lovers of seascape; while W. Thomas's "Sunset in the Pool," a bit of the Thames near the Tower Bridge, is a charmingly soft and delicate print. George James's "Spring's Golden Blossoms" requires a disciple of the "fuzzy" school to fully appreciate its beauties, which are not apparent to the uncultured eye.

B. Gay Wilkinson sends some capital genre and landscape work, notably "A Windy Corner" and "Sand Dunes." L. Sawyer has caught capital effects of light in "The Boat Builders" (The Boat Builder) and "In the Twilight."

Colonel J. Gale has one of the gems of the collection, in "Sleepy Hollow," a rural scene of great beauty and perfect balance. C. Job has two fine pictures entitled "A Bleak Country Road" and "Evening," the tone of which is well chosen and suits the subjects.

Walter D. Welford, the well-known hand camera worker, sends four snapshots which hardly do his reputation justice. E. G. Lee is represented by "The Black Gate," a picture which was medalled at the recent exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society, London, and is a capital study of architecture; while "The Evening of Life," by the same worker, is a very beautiful study of two old folks.

J. H. Coath has five pictures of child subjects, somewhat spoilt by very self-evident models, though the negatives are superb. "Across the Sands" and "A Quiet Nook," by Chevalier La Fosse, are capital examples of this worker's style.

B. Lintott sends "A Homestead," another example of the "fuzzy" type. It has been suggested that they should be shown at some public place at a small charge, which could perhaps be devoted to the Brunner Fund.

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