His Eminence, The Viceroy’s Elephant, Delhi Durbar

Images From One Of India’s Oldest Photography Studios

Bourne & Shepherd produced gorgeous pictures of the Indian subcontinent. | By NGT Staff

One of the most prestigious photography studios in Kolkata, India circa 1866 was the Bourne & Shepherd studio, making it one of the oldest surviving studios in the world, today. A vast collection of the studio’s archives were lost to a fire in 1991, but institutions around the world – like Bengaluru’s Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) – continue to preserve some of the studio’s images. A part of that collection will go on display at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai later this week.

In 1836, Samuel Bourne reached India, with a large amount of photographic equipment in tow. The bank clerk-turned-photographer travelled across the Indian subcontinent, making over 2,000 negatives that captured 19th-century India. Charles Shepherd, who was also a photographer, held the reins when it came to printing, often staying behind to take care of the company’s business. While the establishment was initially Howard & Bourne – for William Howard and Samuel Bourne – it eventually came to be operated by Bourne and Charles Shepherd.

Get a sneak peek into the exhibition with the following vintage photos.

Bourne & Shepherd: Figures in Time, presented by Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum and Tasveer and organised in collaboration with MAP, will be on display at the museum from August 20 to September 15, 2015. Thur-Tue, 10a.m.-6p.m.

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