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Shakespeare Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1900

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Stratford-upon-Avon (photographed)

  • Date:

    1900 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Stone, Benjamin Sir, born 1838 - died 1914 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Gabrielle Enthoven Collection

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Black and white platinum print photograph of a group of men and women grouped in a formal pose in front of a red brick building. A handwritten title beneath the photograph states that it shows 'Players, Visitors and "Town", Shakespearean Festival, 1900, Stratford Upon Avon' and presents the images with 'Sir Benjamin Stone's compliments, April 1900'.

On 23rd April 1900 the actor Frank Benson (1858-1939) and his company began the annual Shakespeare Festival at Stratford-upon-Avon. Among the players were Marion Terry (1853-1930) as Rosalind in As You Like It. The company also performed Othello, Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice.

There was initially a Spring Festival of plays which ran for three weeks. In 1910 a Summer Festival was added. These festivals ran until 1916 when they were suspended until after the war.

In 1897, Queen Victoria's Jubilee year, Sir Benjamin Stone announced the formation of the National Photographic Record Association (NPRA). Its aim was to record the ancient buildings, folk customs and other 'survivals' of historical interest for the future. The result would be a national memory bank that would foster 'a national pride in the historical associations of the country, or neighbourhood, [or] in family traditions'.

Stone was a Birmingham industrialist, a Member of Parliament, an amateur photographer and a passionate collector of photographs. With his belief in pure record photography, he set the agenda for the NPRA, not only administratively but also intellectually and aesthetically. Of the 5883 photographs that the NPRA deposited at the British Museum between 1897 and 1910, 1532 were by Stone. These were transferred to the Victoria and Albert Museum and are held in the Word and Image Department.

This photograph, acquired from another source, is held by the V&A Theatre and Performance department, It is one of a series taken by Sir Benjamin Stone during the Shakespearean Festival in April, 1900.

Physical description

Black and white landscape photograph of a group of men and women in early 20th century dress, posed formally in front of a building. Handwritten title beneath image stating 'Players, Visitors and "Town", Shakespeare Festival, 1900, Stratford Upon Avon. The platinum print is housed in a thick cream cardboard mount.

Place of Origin

Stratford-upon-Avon (photographed)


1900 (photographed)


Stone, Benjamin Sir, born 1838 - died 1914 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

'Players, Visitors, and "Town" / Shakespearean Festival 1900 / Stratford Upon Avon'
Handwritten annotation in black ink underneath the photograph

'with / Sir Benjamin Stone's / Compliments / April 1900'
Handwritten annotation in black ink in the bottom right hand corner, underneath the photograph.


Height: 26.2 cm Measurements given are for cream frame in which photograph is mounted, Width: 34.8 cm Measurements given are for cream frame in which photograph is mounted.

Descriptive line

Platinum print photograph by Sir Benjamin Stone. Stratford-upon-Avon Festival, 1900.






Entertainment & Leisure; Photographs


Theatre and Performance Collection

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