Posts tagged with portraiture

A slice of Wellington life: the Berry & Co collection

  • Photographing a Berry & Co glass plate negative.  We use a Phase I P40 camera and Schneider 110 lens, used with extension tube, with a 40MB back.  This gives us a 38MB digital image, which is our ‘access master’ size.  Photograph Michael Hall, copyright Te Papa.
  • One of the transport chilly bins.  The negatives are stored in archival paper sleeves, to protect the surface of the image.  Photograph Anita Hogan, copyright Te Papa.
  • One of the transport chilly bins.  The negatives are stored in archival paper sleeves, to protect the surface of the image.  Photograph Anita Hogan, copyright Te Papa.
  • Negatives can be difficult to ‘read’, so creating a positive digital image makes it easier for us to improve our catalogue data, for example by using clothing details to estimate the date the photograph was taken.

Te Papa has a collection of nearly 4,000 glass plate and film negatives taken by the Wellington photography studio Berry & Co.  The studio was founded by William Berry in 1897, and operated in Cuba St until 1931.  The negatives are mainly portraits – of families, children, men and women, soldiers in uniform, the occasional… Read more »

Of cats and people

A while back I posted Marion Queenie Kirker’s image of a ‘nodding cat’. Recently the rest of her negatives were scanned and uploaded to the museum’s database. One of the things I enjoy about working in the museum is helping to make images like this available to be seen. There are no prints from these negatives… Read more »

Nodding cat

Sometimes there is little information about some of the photographs in the collection. I love this image. It was taken in the 1930s by Marion Kirker (1879-1971). Yet I wonder: who is the man? Is it his cat? Why photograph them? What is the cat looking at? The man seems to be holding onto the… Read more »

Unveiled: royalty, romance and politics

Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Queen Victoria, 1843, oil on canvas. (c) Collection of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

The young Queen avidly recorded details of her wedding to her ‘precious Angel’  in her journal, including descriptions of her wedding attire and her whirling emotions. On the evening of her wedding she confided: ‘My dearest dearest dear Albert… his excessive love and affection gave me feelings of heavenly love and happiness,  I never could have hoped to have… Read more »