by Frederic G. Hodsoll
gelatin silver print, 1902
10 3/8 in. x 8 5/8 in. (262 mm x 220 mm)
Linked publicationsback to top
- Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 151 Read entry
The novelist Arthur Morrison is best known for his 'realist' stories of life in London's East End, first published in Macmillan's Magazine, and later collected as Tales of Mean Streets (1894). His most widely read work is A Child of the Jago (1896), an account of a slum childhood, of gang warfare and violent crime. Morrison's later life, as this portrait suggests, was devoted to collecting and writing about oriental art.
Little is known of Frederic Hodsoll; he was apparently born in England, and went to live in America. According to his own very brief account he 'returned to England from New Mexico after the flood' and 'took up journalistic work for the weekly illustrated papers in London'. He was one of the earliest photographers to use flashlight, and this gives his prints exceptional clarity of detail. It was ideally suited to his favourite subjects: writers in their homes and actors in their dressing-rooms. He worked for The Sphere and The Tatler and Bystander, where this portrait was reproduced on 24 September 1902, as part of a series called 'Authors in their Rooms'. It comes from one of two albums of Hodsoll's work owned by the Gallery. Many of Hodsoll's sitters are of consid-erable interest in themselves, but his photographs are especially valuable as evidence of contemporary interior decoration. The albums also contain a number of photographs of spectacular theatrical productions.
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Events of 1902back to top
Current affairsPrime Minister Lord Salisbury resigns and is replaced by his nephew, Balfour, who this year introduces the Education Act, which controversially hands control of secondary education from school boards to Local Education Authorities.
Arthur Griffith, leader of the Society of Gaels, introduces a policy of 'Sinn Fein' at a Society meeting in Dublin, which includes passive resistance to the British and the establishment of an Irish ruling council.
Art and scienceJoseph Conrad publishes his short story The Heart of Darkness, a powerful critique of European imperialism. Based on his experiences in Africa, the narrative follows Charles Marlow's journey into the Belgian Congo in search of the mysterious trader Kurtz.
In New York, Alfred Stieglitz founds the Photo-Secession movement, a group of US photographers influenced by the Pictoralist movement, seeking recognition of photography as art in its own terms.
InternationalThe first Aswan Dam is opened on the Nile, at the time the world's largest dam. The gravity dam, 1900m long and 54m high, was designed by Sir William Willcocks and built by engineers including Sir John Aird, whose firm John Aird & Company was the main contractor.
The Boer War ends after the Boers accept their loss of independence under the Treaty of Vereeniging, bringing the Boer republics under British control.
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