John Falconer, British Library
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia
Photographic department instituted by the principal, Dr Alexander Hunter: ‘A photographic department has lately been introduced, and excursions are made during the holidays for taking views of antiquities, scenery, groups of figures, and animals.’ (Madras Asylum Almanac for 1866).
The School of Arts, which comprises two branches, one artistic the other industrial, carried on itsoperations in 1862-63, as in previous years, under the superintendence of Dr Hunter. In the Artistic branch, in which drawing of various kinds, engraving, etching, and photography are taught, drawings were made of various articles of furniture and of plants yielding cotton. Engravings were also executed of plants, fountains, and ornamental work of different sorts. Photography was cultivated with success, and some stereoscopic views were taken of ancient buildings and other striking objects. This art and engraving were applied, too, in the illustration of books...
A Photographic and Sketching tour was undertaken with success during the year by certain of the students. During the tour, Photographs were taken of scenery around Coonoor and of the antiquities of Humpee and Tarputree. Some of the best specimens were sent to the Kensington School of Design, where they were esteemed highly.
In the Artistic Department, wood-cuts have been executed for illustrating books; and, in addition, designs for ornamental and other work, drawings of insects, plants, etc., diagrams for illustrating lectures, and copper plate engravings have been prepared in great variety. The Photographic Department has been in active operation; and during the year two tours were undertaken, one to Travancore and the Western Coast, and one to Adanki and certain of the Northern Ports. The latter were entered upon under instruction from Government, in order that photographs might be taken of the prize cattle at the shows. Photographs of Indian antiquities were sent to Vienna, to Dr Karl Van Schezer, who promised to send in exchange samples of the pottery and porcelain of Vienna with the raw material from which such may be manufactured.
Among the photographs taken were some of members of the different hill tribes on the Neilgherries; casts were also made of the hands and feet of individuals of these races. Selections from the photographs and casts were sent to the Paris and other exhibitions, and to several schools of art.
- Λ Selections from the Records of the Madras Government. No.LXXVI. Report on public instruction in the Madras Presidency for 1862-63 (Madras, 1863), p. 56. IOR/V/24/836.
- Λ Selections from the Records of the Madras Government. No.LXXVI. Report on public instruction in the Madras Presidency for 1863-64 (Madras, 1864), p. 58, para. 209. IOR/V/24/836.
- Λ Selections from the Records of the Madras Government. No.LXXVII. Report on public instruction in the Madras Presidency for 1864-65 (Madras, 1866), p. 56. IOR/V/24/836.
- Λ Selections from the Records of the Madras Government. No. V. Report on public instruction in the Madras Presidency for 1866-67 (Madras, 1867), p. 32, para. 67. IOR/V/24/837.