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Constantia Nicolaides

Constantia Nicolaides

Assistant Curator, Photographs (Content and Interpretation)

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Job description

As Photographs Cataloguer, I work within the breadth of the National Portrait Gallery’s photographic collection. I began by working on the extensive collection of negatives taken by the London-based Bassano studio from the 1910s to the 1970s, and the Gallery’s contemporary prints (dating from 1970 to the present day), before focusing on the work of Victorian portrait photographers. Highlights have included Camille Silvy’s daybooks and Sir Benjamin Stone’s parliamentary pictures. Through working so closely with the collection on a daily basis, I am also involved in contributing to its care and organisation, enabling access to it, and assisting with related research enquiries received internally and externally.

I have also curated a number of temporary displays at the Gallery that have focused on nineteenth-century photographers and personalities, including The Brothers Sarony (2009-10), The Dalziel Brothers: A Family of Engravers (2010), The Southwell Brothers: Photographers Royal (2011), The Tichborne Trials (2012), Artist & Evangelist: Lives Remembered (2012-13), and Alexander Bassano: Victorian Photographer (2013). Meanwhile, the display Francis Goodman: Back in Focus (2013) has resulted from my recent work in organising, researching and cataloguing the archive of negatives of this twentieth-century photographer.


I studied History of Art at the University of Sussex with a focus on modern and contemporary art, photography and visual culture, and joined the National Portrait Gallery’s photographic department in 2003.

Research interests

As a result of my work on the Gallery’s collection, I have developed a specialist interest in the work of Victorian portrait photographers, particularly from the heyday of the carte-de-visite in the 1860s through to the Edwardian period.