The Photographic Studios of Europe, first published in 1882, is the only detailed account available of working practices and conditions in the studios of the leading photographers of the Victorian period. Revealing, surprising, perceptive and authoritative, this first-hand report is based on seeing scores of photographers and their workshops in action. The result is fascinating and valuable both as a social historical record and as a classic of photographic literature. This newly-designed and typeset, 294-page edition provides - for the first time - a highly readable and accessible selection from the original Victorian edition.
Author H Baden Pritchard adopts a "colloquial style" as he leads us on a "house-to-house visitation among the principal studios of Europe... determined to write down great things and small alike... and so produce a record of practice." Recording in detail the physical environment of each workplace, the range of photographic work undertaken, the employees, clientele, pricing policies and unique techniques of each studio, the book provides unparalleled insights into the burgeoning business of photography in the Victorian period. Among the many fascinating - and varied - experiences presented are visits to: the studio of Queen Victoria's photographer; the world's largest photographic studio, producing by hand 3,000 prints a day; Millbank Prison and Pentonville Penitentiary to watch how prisoners are recorded; the photographic studios at the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) - an "unpleasant, cold, draughty backstairs lumber room"
This fascinating book will be of interest to photographic curators, art historians, social historians - and to anyone with an interest in the history of photography and media.