The Waterhouse Albums Mapin Publishing

The Waterhouse Albums

Central Indian Provinces
John Falconer
Preface by Siobhan Lambert–Hurley Contributions by Rosemary Crill, John Falconer, Michael Gray, Shaharyar M. Khan

This volume presents for the first time, the extraordinary career of photographic pioneer, James Waterhouse (1842–1922).

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This volume presents for the first time, the extraordinary career of photographic pioneer, James Waterhouse (1842–1922).
From his early years in Central India in the 1860s, to his technical achievements in Britain in the 1900s, this comprehensive account traces the life of a path-breaking figure devoted to the art of photography, acknowledged by his peers as “the father of photo-mechanical work”, yet who has remained neglected within the world of photography.

Waterhouse’s first major photographic work was undertaken from 1861–62, shortly after his arrival in India as a very young Second Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. During this period, he was deputed on special assignment to photograph rulers, tribes, communities and archaeological subjects in the Central Provinces (he concluded that the “numerous difficuties of a work of the kind can only be appreciated by those who have tried it”). The results of this survey are perhaps the first photographs of the Buddhist site of Sanchi, and a series of remarkable portraits from the court of the Begum of Bhopal, as well as of significant noblemen and groups from the surrounding area. The portraits are accompanied by Waterhouse’s extensive notes, reproduced here with his images for the first time.

This volume also offers an essay on Waterhouse’s indefatigable experiments with photographic processes and his crucial work at the Survey of India in Calcutta. Appendices include transcripts of Waterhouse’s personal narrative of his travels and photographic projects.

John Falconer is Jerwood Curator of Photography at the British Library.

Rosemary Crill is Senior Curator of South Asian Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She specialises in Indian textiles and paintings.

Michael Gray is an independent scholar and photographic historian, and former Curator of the Fox Talbot Museum.

Shaharyar M. Khan is a historian and direct descendant of the Bhopal ruling family.

Siobhan Lambert–Hurley is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the Nottingham Trent University, UK.

The Alkazi Foundation for the Arts is a registered charitable trust based in New Delhi. It is primarily dedicated to the exploration and study of the cultural history of India.

Over the last 30 years, Ebrahim Alkazi, the Foundation’s Chairman, has amassed a private collection of photographs, presently known as The Alkazi Collection of Photography (, an archive of nineteenth- and early twentieth century photographic prints from South and South-East Asia, amounting to over 90,000 images. Th e core of the Collection comprises works in the form of photographic albums, single prints, paper negatives and glass plate negatives from India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan and Tibet. Almost every region that has a past touched by the British Raj, is represented.

These vintage prints document socio-political life in the subcontinent through the linked fields of history, architecture, anthropology, topography and archaeology, beginning from the 1840s, up to Independence in 1947.

The photographic archive is being digitally catalogued and documented, and is accessed by researchers, curators, historians and scholars. Th e material is also being made available to a larger academic community and the general public through a series of publications that will be accompanied by exhibitions and seminars. Each volume, under the editorship of a specialist in the fi eld, examines a particular region or topic represented in the archive, encouraging cross-disciplinary approaches and interpretations.

• Preface
• Acknowledgements
• Map and Itinerary

• CHAPTER 1: James Waterhouse: A Career in Photography
• CHAPTER 2: The Work of Clarence Comyn Taylor in the Waterhouse Albums
• CHAPTER 3: Bhopal: A Brief History
• CHAPTER 4: Dress and Textiles in the Photographs of James Waterhouse
• CHAPTER 5: James Waterhouse: His Career in Process Printing

• Appendices
• The Waterhouse Albums:
• Catalogue of Photographs
ISBN 9788189995300
Pages 264
Number of photographs 120 photographs, 5 drawings
Size 9.45 x 10.8" (240 x 274 mm), hc
Date of Publishing 2009
Language(s) English
Co-publisher(s) Mapin in association with The Alkazi Collection of Photography New Delhi • London • New York
Rights Available World rights

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