Lecture: Portraits for the Stereoscope: Seeing the Victorians

Past event archive
22 March 2018, 19:00

Ondaatje Wing Theatre

Tickets: £8 (£7 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.


Dr. Brian May and Denis Pellerin, photo historian and curator of Dr. May's collection of Victorian photographs, take us on a stereoscopic journey through the studios of photographic artists including Antoine Claudet, William Kilburn, John Jabez Mayall and Thomas Richard Williams. Discover the Victorians as you have never seen them before, in full colour and in glorious 3-D.

Brian May CBE, PhD, FRAS, founding member of the rock group Queen, is a world-renowned guitarist, songwriter, producer and performer. He is also a 3-D stereoscopic authority, Doctor of Astrophysics and a leading animal rights campaigner and passionate advocate for political and social change. Brian has co-authored numerous publications and now heads his own publishing house, The London Stereoscopic Company. The LSC specialises in Victorian 3-D Photography and has pioneered the return of 3-D photography to popularity. All LSC books uniquely include the OWL 3-D viewer designed by Brian. Brian was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005 for ‘services to the Music Industry and for his charity work’ and is patron to a number of charities, also a vice-president of the RSPCA.  Brian enjoys interacting with his fans, who can enjoy updates on his work and thoughts on twitter at @DrBrianMay and via his website at www.brianmay.com.

Dr. Brian May and Denis Pellerin


Denis Pellerin is a self-taught photo-historian with a passion for stereo photography. He was bitten by the stereo bug while visiting a relative and chancing upon a stack of what seemed like two identical images stuck on a piece of cardboard. When he put one of these photos into a crossbow-like instrument he literally stepped into one of the rooms of the Tuileries Palace in Paris, and for a few intense seconds felt actually transported into space and time. The next day, he bought his first stereoscopic cards. Denis has been researching and learning about the history of stereo photography for over 35 years and has written numerous articles and books on the subject, both in French and in English. During his thirtieth year as a secondary school teacher, Denis had the good fortune to meet and work with Dr. Brian May before being hired by the latter as the curator of his extensive photographic collection.

Please note: There will be no opportunity for signing at today’s talk but books will be available to purchase in the Gallery’s Giftshop along with original pre-signed bookplates bearing the date and location of this event.  All proceeds from single bookplate sales will go to Brian's Save Me Trust charity.

Part of the programme of events complementing Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography.

Stereo Daguerreotype of an elderly lady by Antoine Claudet. Mid-1850s. © The Brian May Collection

Stereo Daguerreotype of an elderly lady by Antoine Claudet. Mid-1850s. © The Brian May Collection


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