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HomeContents > People > Photographers > William Hamilton Crake

Dates:  1825 - ?
Active:  India
 
  

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for William Hamilton Crake
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

 
  
With his multiple responsibilities as a director of the Bank of Madras, a committee member of the Madras Chamber of Commerce, and an East India merchant, Crake traveled often between India and England. Crake’s first public showing of photographs was a group of three prints from waxed-paper negatives displayed in the 1857 exhibition of the Photographic Society of Bengal. In the 1859 exhibition of the Photographic Society in London, his extensive showing of “plain-paper process” views was drawn from his work in India, including not only architectural and archaeological views, but also the wreck of the barque Alhambra on the beach at Madras. In the 1860 exhibition of the Madras Photographic Society, Crake’s large waxed-paper views from nature were so impressive that the council of the society chose one for distribution to subscribers that year. By the time of the 1871 census, Crake was back living in London. 
  
Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007) 
  
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is included here with permission. 
  
Date last updated: 4 Nov 2012. 
  
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John Falconer, British Library 
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia

 
Amateur, India
Merchant; partner, Parry and Co., Director of the Bank of Madras, Committee Member of the Madras Chamber of Commerce, Director of the Madras Equitable Assurance Society Showed three prints from waxed paper negatives of Madras scenes at the Photographic Society of Bengal Exhibition of Mar 1857.
 
At meeting of 4.3.1858 of the Madras Photographic Society, ‘The Secretary laid on the table the collection of pictures printed by Mr Sutton for distribution amongst the subscribers of 1856-57. The subjects are [views by Mitchell, Tripe]...and a group of palmyra trees by Mr Crake.’[1]
 
At the 1860 exhibition of the Madras Photographic Society, he showed ‘... 17 large photographs taken from nature by the wax paper process, among therse were several excellent views of pagodas, stone carvings and antiquities at Mahavellipooram or the Seven Pagodas near Sadras. One of these, a tall mundapum on four elegant pillars, has been selected by the Council of the Photographic Society for distribution among the subscribers of this year.’[2] 
  
 
  

Footnotes 
  
  1. Λ Madras Journal of Literature and Science, no.7 new series, Apr-Sep 1858, p.163 
      
  2. Λ Madras Journal of Literature and Science, no.11, new series, May 1861, pp.193-4 
      
 
  

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