Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 512M , Shelf X1028, Case MX12

Photograph of a dog

Photograph
ca. 1900 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Charles Harry Jones was a professional gardener and an amateur photographer. He made studies of fruit as well as images of the private estate, Ote Hall in Sussex, where he worked during the 1890s until 1908. He also photographed exciting events and discoveries, such as a local train crash, snake eggs and a vacuum cleaner.

Although little known in his lifetime, today Jones is known for his botanical images. His photographs of pears, posed against a neutral background to capture each specimen’s individuality, show his deep understanding of their plain beauty, brought about by tending them daily. The photographs are now now recognised for their simple appeal and their proto-modernist look. The combination of photographs in this album reveals much about Jones and life in Edwardian times.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gelatin silver print
Brief Description
Jones, Charles; photograph of a dog, from an album dated about 1900.
Physical Description
Black and white photograph in an album showing a dog lying on a sofa covered in patterned fabric.
Dimensions
  • Individual photograph height: 75mm (Note: rough)
  • Individual photogrpah width: 105mm (Note: rough)
  • Individual page height: 267mm (Note: rough measurement of individual pages of album)
  • Individual page width: 361mm (Note: rough measurement of individual pages of album)
Production typeUnique
Credit line
Purchased through the Cecil Beaton Royalties Fund
Object history
This photograph is part of an album which was bought from Charles Jones' granddaughter, Shirley Sadler, in 2004.



Historical significance: The photographs in this album are a good example of amateur photography at the turn of the 19th century. The plain background of the photographs of fruit, for example, and the way that the characteristics of each variety are illustrated in great detail are similar in style to the later photographs of Edward Weston. It is for this reason that Charles Jones is considered proto-modernist from our 21st-century perspective. His prints are very high quality, despite the fact that he later used his glass negatives as cloches for growing vegetables in the garden. Photography was a working medium for Jones.
Historical context
Charles Jones probably made these photographs as a record of his life as a gardener at Ote Hall, Sussex, and then his later life and events that happened around him. The botanical photographs could have been used commercially to illustrate seed packets. The photographs are not all arranged chronologically in the album. It is possible that Jones didn't compile the album himself. His son, Eric Gordon Jones, has written titles next to photographs in pen.
Summary
Charles Harry Jones was a professional gardener and an amateur photographer. He made studies of fruit as well as images of the private estate, Ote Hall in Sussex, where he worked during the 1890s until 1908. He also photographed exciting events and discoveries, such as a local train crash, snake eggs and a vacuum cleaner.



Although little known in his lifetime, today Jones is known for his botanical images. His photographs of pears, posed against a neutral background to capture each specimen’s individuality, show his deep understanding of their plain beauty, brought about by tending them daily. The photographs are now now recognised for their simple appeal and their proto-modernist look. The combination of photographs in this album reveals much about Jones and life in Edwardian times.
Bibliographic Reference
Sexton, Sean and Flynn Johnson, Robert: Plant Kingdoms: The Photographs of Charles Jones London : Thames and Hudson, 1998.
Collection
Accession Number
E.392:8-2005

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record createdOctober 25, 2006
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