Portrait of Francis Russell, 9th Duke of Bedford.

THOMSON, John.

From Krul Antiquarian Books (Hoofddorp, Netherlands)

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London, ca. 1886-1888. Original photograph, cabinetcard, albumen print, 16,5 x 10,5 cm. - J. Thomson, 70A, Grosvenor Street, Grosvenor Square, London, W. - John Thomson (14 June 1837 - 29 September 1921) was a pioneering Scottish photographer, geographer and traveller. He was one of the first photographers to travel to the Far East, documenting the people, landscapes and artifacts of eastern cultures. Upon returning home, his work among the street people of London cemented his reputation, and is regarded as a classic instance of social documentary which laid the foundations for photojournalism. He went on to become a portrait photographer of High Society in Mayfair, gaining the Royal Warrant in 1881. - - - Thomson returned to England in 1872, settling in Brixton, London and, apart from a final photographic journey to Cyprus in 1878, Thomson never left again. Over the coming years he proceeded to lecture and publish, presenting the results of his travels in the Far East. His publications started initially in monthly magazines and were followed by a series of large, lavishly illustrated photographic books. He wrote extensively on photography, contributing many articles to photographic journals such as the British Journal of Photography. He also translated and edited Gaston Tissandier s 1876 History and Handbook of Photography, which became a standard reference work. In London, Thomson renewed his acquaintance with Adolphe Smith, a radical journalist whom he had met at the Royal Geographical Society in 1866. Together they collaborated in producing the monthly magazine, Street Life in London, from 1876 to 1877. The project documented in photographs and text the lives of the street people of London, establishing social documentary photography as an early type of photojournalism. The series of photographs was later published in book form in 1878. He was elected a member of the Photographic Society, later the Royal Photographic Society, on 11 November 1879. With his reputation as an important photographer well established, Thomson opened a portrait studio in Buckingham Palace Road in 1879, later moving it to Mayfair. In 1881 he was appointed photographer to the British Royal Family by Queen Victoria, and his later work concentrated on studio portraiture of the rich and famous of High Society, giving him a comfortable living. From January 1886 he began instructing explorers at the Royal Geographical Society in the use of photography to document their travels. After retiring from his commercial studio in 1910, Thomson spent most of his time back in Edinburgh, although he continued to write papers for the Royal Geographical Society on the uses of photography. He died of a heart attack in 1921 at the age of 84. Francis Charles Hastings Russell, 9th Duke of Bedford (16 October 1819 - 14 January 1891) was an English politician and agriculturalist. The son of Major-General Lord George William Russell and Lady William Russell, and the grandson of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford, Russell was born in Curzon Street, London, and commissioned into the Scots Fusilier Guards in 1838, retiring in 1844.[3] He was Liberal Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire from 1847 until 1872, when he succeeded to his dukedom and took his place in the House of Lords. In 1886, he broke with the party leadership of William Ewart Gladstone over the First Irish Home Rule Bill and became a Unionist. He took an active interest in agriculture and experimentation on his Woburn Abbey estate and was President of the Royal Agricultural Society in 1880. On 1 December 1880, he was made a Knight of the Garter. From 1884 until his death he was Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire. He died in 1891, aged 71 at 81 Eaton Square, London, by shooting himself as a result of insanity, while suffering from pneumonia. After being cremated at Woking Crematorium, his ashes were buried at the Bedford Chapel of St. Michael s Church in Chenies, Buckinghamshire. KEYWORDS:united kingdom/scotland/london/photo. Bookseller Inventory # 58802

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