Exhibition - In to the Negative
If you’ve been planning to get along
to this excellent exhibition but still haven’t quite
managed to find the time, we suggest you get your skates on,
because its eleven-week showing at the Barbican Museum comes
to an end tomorrow. The images on show are in fact only a
mere fraction of the museums immense black and white photo
collection, which now numbers in excess of 100,000 images.
The vast majority of these were taken back in the early photographic
boom-time of the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century.
The photographers were a group of enthusiastic locals, including
a certain Mr Reeves, whose descendants still run a successful
photographic studio on the town’s High Street, within
yards of the exhibition entrance. In the exhibition you are
shown a varied selection of photographs from the time, carefully
selected to allow a fascinating peek into the lives of the
previous inhabitants of our town. The images on show cover
all aspects of what was then daily Lewes life in Victorian
England, as well as capturing some of the more formal events
of the era.
Photographic techniques have of course moved on in leaps and
bounds since Victorian times. These technological strides
have allowed the museum's curators to look more deeply into
the images by making high quality enlargements of the originals.
This technique immediately brings unseen details to the fore.
The blown up images, which are shown alongside the original
work, are both amusing and intriguing, as long forgotten expressions,
costumes, buildings and the finest day to day details spring
back in to life.