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Swimming lesson

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Belgium (photographed)

  • Date:

    1907-1908 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, born 1871 - died 1956 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatine-silver print

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Cecil Beaton Royalties Fund

  • Museum number:

    E.3448-2004

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 980, box D

Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles (born Rotterdam 1871, died Hastings 1956) was a pioneering photographic journalist who published his work in the new illustrated magazines of the late 19th and early 20th century. From the turn of the century he travelled around Europe, living in Berlin, Brussels, Paris and Jersey. With his eye for detail, timing and geometry, he accurately captured the leisure activities, sports and customs of the period. Besides their documentary value, his photographs have a quirky and almost surreal quality.
Leisure time is the main theme of Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles’ work. It is his biggest interest as such and can also be found in his ‘sports photography’ (a term which in fact sometimes has been used including leisure activities like travel en picnicking) and to a lesser extent, in his photographs about customs. Leisure time emerged in the late nineteenth century in the industrialized West, which resulted in new forms of leisure activities. Pitcairn-Knowles was particularly interested in big organised festivities and events such as competitions like dog racing, horse racing, fairs, the derby, markets and the carnival. He photographed the higher classes as well as the lower classes: from neatly dressed ladies in a rabbit race contest to a boy catching rats for rat-baiting. In almost every series the spectators play a big role.

Physical description

A photograph of a boy swimming in the sea. A woman, standing on the shore, is holding a stick which has a rope tied to the boy.

Place of Origin

Belgium (photographed)

Date

1907-1908 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, born 1871 - died 1956 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatine-silver print

Marks and inscriptions

'012/26'
Donor's reference, verso, pencil.

'0144640'
Topham picture library reference number, verso pencil.

'A. PITCAIRN-KNOWLES, / RIPOSO, / ST. HELEN'S PARK, / HASTINGS.'
Verso, stamp.

'REPRODUCTION INTERDITE / COPYRIGHT'
Verso, stamp.

Dimensions

Height: 12.0 cm, Width: 16.3 cm

Object history note

Pitcairn-Knowles Archive purchased from Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles' grandson Richard Pitcairn-Knowles.

Historical context note

Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles (born Rotterdam 1871, died Hastings 1956) was a pioneering photographic journalist who published his work in the new illustrated magazines of the late 19th and early 20th century. From the turn of the century he travelled around Europe, living in Berlin, Brussels, Paris and Jersey. With his eye for detail, timing and geometry, he accurately captured the leisure activities, sports and customs of the period. Besides their documentary value, his photographs have a quirky and almost surreal quality.
Leisure time is the main theme of Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles’ work. It is his biggest interest as such and can also be found in his ‘sports photography’ (a term which in fact sometimes has been used including leisure activities like travel en picnicking) and to a lesser extent, in his photographs about customs. Leisure time emerged in the late nineteenth century in the industrialized West, which resulted in new forms of leisure activities. Pitcairn-Knowles was particularly interested in big organised festivities and events such as competitions like dog racing, horse racing, fairs, the derby, markets and the carnival. He photographed the higher classes as well as the lower classes: from neatly dressed ladies in a rabbit race contest to a boy catching rats for rat-baiting. In almost every series the spectators play a big role.

Descriptive line

'Swimming lesson', photograph by Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles, Belgium, 1907-1908.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Pitcairn-Knowles, Richard. The Edwardian eye of Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles 1871-1056. Sussex: The Book Guild Ltd, 2000.
Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, 'Oftend im Bade' in Die Woche, 1 September 1906.
Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, 'Oftenden Seezungen', in Die Woche, 30 November 1907.

Subjects depicted

Swimming; Leisure; Beach

Categories

Photographs; Entertainment & Leisure; Children & Childhood; Sport

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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