John Thomson Photograph Collection 1863


John Thomson Photograph Collection 1863

The Scotsman John Thomson is considered one of the fathers of social documentary photography and a pioneer in the photography of southeast Asia. Between 1861 and 1872, he traveled extensively in Asia, documenting the scenery and people of modern day Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, and China. The collection includes eight albumen prints from wet-plate collodion negatives taken early in Thomson's photographic career. The images of Penang, Malaysia, are all signed by John Thomson, with five dated November 1863. Subjects include Malay people, a native infantry regiment, sugar mill, temple, and Thomson's widely reproduced image of tree ferns.

1 oversize box; (1.5 linear ft.)



SNAC Resource ID: 6323688

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Thomson, J. (John), 1837-1921 (person)

John Thomson was a talented and influential photographer, who had spent ten years travelling in, and taking photographs of, the Far East. On his return to London he joined with Adolphe Smith, a socialist journalist, in a project to photograph the street life of the London poor. The volumes were published in monthly parts as Street Life in London , and were an early example of social and documentary photography. From the guide to the Street Life in London, 1877, (British Library of Po...