In this weeks gallery, we take a step back in time to 1839, when the world woke up to the amazing new invention of photography. This revolutionary medium created a gold rush of eager practitioners. Victorian Perthshire, in like most of Britain, produced its own expert practitioners of what became to be called the ‘Black Art’. In their 2016 book, The Early Photographers of Perthshire Roben Antoniewicz and Dr Paul S. Philippou celebrated and documented the first women and men to practice photography in Perthshire. Amongst them were the amazing Magnus Jackson and David Octavius Hill, who has been referred to as ‘one of the finest Calotypists in photographic history'. Roben has been kind enough to share some of the photographs from the book with us for today's gallery. Some of the buildings on will be recognisable (although now greatly transformed) to Perthshire residents. However, some of the photographs are more mysterious, couples, families and ladies whose names have been lost to the ages.
About the Authors
Roben has a special affinity to photography being a devotee and a professional. His links to photography originate in the 1850s when his great, great, great grandfather David Wood, printer and bookseller, sold photographic papers in his High Street shop. 50 years later his great grandfather commissioned local photographers to take photographs of Perthshire views. His personal photography was celebrated in 2003 when he won the ‘Schweppes Photographic Portrait Prize’.
Dr Paul S. Philippou is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of History, University of Dundee. Paul’s main research interest is Scottish labour history. In 2015, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Dundee for his thesis, ‘There is only one P in Perth - And, it stands for Pullars!: the Labour, Trade-Union, and Co-operative Movements in Perth, c. 1867 to c. 1922’. In addition to the Early Photographers of Perthshire, Paul has authored Spanish Thermopylae: Cypriot Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39; Battleground Perthshire: Two Thousand Years of Battles, Encounters and Skirmishes; Perth: Street by Street (with Roben Antoniewicz); and Born in Perthshire. Paul is the driving force behind madeinperth.org, Perthshire’s local history website.