The Autograph ABP project Black Chronicles, whose aim is to discover and display photographic portraits of sitters that in the words of curator Renee Mussai 'offer a fascinating array of personal narratives that defy pre-conceived notions of cultural diversity [in Britain] prior to the Second World War', has teamed up with the National Portrait Gallery for a sequence of displays, drawing works from both the NPG's extensive photographic collection and (via large-scale modern prints) from glass negatives found in the Hulton Getty's collection from the London Stereoscopic Co., a leading commercial outlet in the late nineteenth century. Those from the latter featuring members of the African Choir from South Africa, which visited Britain in the 1890s, were shown at Autograph's Missing Chapter exhibition at Rivington Place, and now come with additional information about the sitters drawn from ongoing research.
|Photo Zoe Maxwell|
The NPG items feature the now well-known Sarah Forbes Bonetta and her husband James Labulo Davies; the young Ndugu M'hali from central Africa, whom Henry Morton Stanley brought to the UK after his Livingstone expedition, as a kind of trophy of authenticity, the early international boxing champion Peter Jackson from the Caribbean island of St Croix, and Dadabhai Naoroji, the first British Indian MP, elected in 1892.
In addition, Black Chronicles 1862-1948 includes newly-acquired portraits of dancers from les Ballets Negres, Britain's first all-black ballet company, taken in 1947 by Angus McBean, and a selection of photographs by George Hurrell of Ram Gopal, who pioneered Indian classical dance in Britain in the same era.
BLACK CHRONICLES: PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAITS 1862-1948
18 MAY - 11 DECEMBER