Images of Posters and Photographs to Print
Julia Margaret Cameron, photograph of Prince Alàmayou, 1868. Museum no. 24-1939
Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-79)
Photograph of Prince Alàmayou
Museum no. 24-1939
Julia Margaret Cameron took up photography at the age of forty-three and quickly established herself as a leading practitioner. Her images captured the sitters in original and remarkable ways. She took this photograph of Prince Alàmayou of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) in July 1868 when he visited the Isle of Wight. The prince had been brought to England at the request of Queen Victoria when his father, Emperor Theodore of Abyssinia, committed suicide. In the photograph he is seven years old and wears Abyssinian dress. Prince Alàmayou died at the age of eighteen and is the only person buried in the grounds of Windsor Castle who is not a member of the British royal family.
Maud Sulter, 'Terpsichore', 1992. Museum no. E.1795-1991, © Maud Sulter
Maud Sulter (1960- )
Dye destruction print in gilt frame
Museum no. E.1795-1991
© Maud Sulter
Maud Sulter, born of Scottish and Ghanaian parentage, is a poet, historian, teacher and artist. Working with installation, photography and video, she addresses issues of the representation of black women in Western culture. Her series Zabat is a cycle of studio portraits of creative black women, each representing one of the nine muses of classical antiquity.
The woman in the image Terpsichore is a performance artist called Della Street who created the costume as part of a dance installation piece called The Quizzing Glass. This deals with the relationships between women within the power imbalance of the slave/mistress situation.
Comtesse de Croix-Mesnil, portrait of two Mahometan women, 1893. Museum no. PH.3783-1904
Comtesse de Croix-Mesnil
Portrait of two Mahometan women
Museum no. PH.3783-1904
Not a lot is known about the Comtesse de Croix-Mesnil. In the introduction to her commercially produced photograph album called Femmes d'Orient, she states that she had studied Islamic women for five years. It was her intention to let the women in the pictures express their own identity and personality. However, she used the same props, clothes and painted backdrops in many of the photographs and probably paid the models. This puts into question the relationship between the sitter and the image the photographer wishes to convey. The Portrait of Two Mahometan Women comes from the Femmes d'Orient album.
Chila Kumari Burman, 'This Is Not Me', 1992. Museum no. E.2070-1997
Chila Kumari Burman (1957- )
'This Is Not Me'
Colour laser print
Museum no. E.2070-1997
Chila Kumari Burman was born in Liverpool of Indian immigrant parents. She uses her own image in an ever-expanding repertoire of provocative and active female identities. The work, This Is Not Me, indicates an aspect of the artist's conflict with stereotypes. The message 'This is not me' challenges the representation that the viewer sees.
The image uses a photographic self-portrait, over-painted with car spray-paint. Burman uses laser copying techniques, which have enabled her to manipulate a range of images, varying from the subtle to the outrageous. These images reflect her feelings about the irrationality of classification and stereotyping and about her own dynamic and constantly shifting self-image.
Camille Silvy, photograph of Master HGE Gladstone, 1862. Museum no. E980-1992
Camille Silvy (1834-1910)
Photograph of Master HGE Gladstone
Museum no. E980-1992
Camille Silvy was a studio and fine art photographer who worked in London and Paris. His range of commercial portraiture is recorded in his day books and through hundreds of cartes-de-visite. This photograph of Master H.G.E. Gladstone was entered in the day book for 16 June 1862 . It shows a well-to-do young boy wearing fashionable tartan clothes. The plinth he leans against is not real, but a stage prop. On top of the plinth are two birds in a cage. These might have been stuffed specimens. Stuffed animals were sometimes used as props in photographs.
Balkrishna Arts, 'Pakeezah', film hoarding, 2002. Museum no. IS.114-2002
Oil on canvas
Museum no. IS.114-2002
This classic film tells the story of Sahibjaan, daughter of the courtesan Nargis. Nargis dreams of escaping her dishonourable life but she is rejected by her husband's family and dies in a graveyard giving birth to Sahibjaan. Her husband is unaware of his daughter. Sahibjaan grows up to become a dancer and courtesan, and falls in love with a noble stranger, Salim. Like her mother, she is rejected by Salim's family because of her status until her true identity is revealed and she is reunited with her father.
The lavishly produced film booklet gives a detailed account of the cultural importance of the courtesan. Known as 'tawaifs', they are represented as custodians of culture, well versed in Hindi, Urdu and Persian poetry. Their existence is traced back to ancient India where they were used as informers by the administrators, thus placing them at the centre of politics and culture. The underlying contradiction between the impurity of Sahibjaan's actions and the purity of her soul is made apparent in the film title, which means 'pure heart'. The unfinished hoarding depicts a portrait of Sahibjaan and an image of her dancing.
Balkrishna Arts, 'Cinema India – The Art of Bollywood', 2002. Museum no. IS.115-2000
'Cinema India – The Art of Bollywood'
Oil on canvas
Museum no. IS.115-2000
This hoarding depicts themes and emotions that are typical of Indian popular cinema. The man on the right is the actor Amitabh Bachchan in his now famous 'angry young man' pose. The couple at the top - Raj Kapoor and Nargis - represent romance, while the woman on the left-hand side reflects the dance and music component of film. The crowd scene in the centre depicts the spectacle of Bollywood.
Balkrishna Arts, 'Devdas', 2002. Museum no. IS.113-2002
Oil on canvas
Museum no. IS.113-2002
A classic of Indian cinema (taken from a famous novel), this is a tale of childhood sweethearts unable to marry because of their caste/class differences. The hero goes to Calcutta to escape his sorrows and is befriended by a courtesan who falls in love with him. He is unable to return her love and returns to his home, but then takes to alcohol and dies. The hoarding design depicts the drunken hero, Devdas, his childhood sweetheart, Paro, and the courtesan who falls in love with him.