Walter Benington photographic portraits

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Colin Harris
2018



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Walter Benington photographic portraits

1914-1926, n.d.

Abstract:
The collection comprises 200 glass plates of Benington's Oxbridge personalities and worthies of the wider world of literature, politics, the sciences and the arts, 1914, 1920-1, 1926, n.d.

Extent: 0.3 Linear metres, 14 physical shelfmarks
Language(s) of Material: English

Full range of shelfmarks:

Neg. b. 4/1-14

Biographical history

Walter Benington (1872-1936) was a leading member of the co-called 'Linked Ring' group of Pictorialist photographers and his photographs were exhibited in Britain, Europe and the United States of America. By 1910 he became one of the country's leading portrait photographers. He later worked for Elliot & Fry of Baker Street in London, as well as being a frequent contributor to periodicals, notably the Sphere.

Scope and Content

The collection comprises 200 glass plates of Benington's Oxbridge personalities and notable figures from the wider world of literature, politics, the sciences and the arts. The portraits date mainly from 1920-1922, but there is a group for 1914 and a smaller group for 1926. Many of the portraits were published in the Sphere, particularly Cambridge personalities on 4 and 11 June 1921 and Oxford personalities on 21 and 28 October 1922.

Acquisition

Without written documentation the precise details cannot be ascertained. There is circumstantial evidence to suggest that the plates were given by Benington’s widow to an Oxford neighbour, the artist Archie Utin. We know that sometime in the early 1940s Utin had acquired two important portfolios of Benington’s photographic work. The portfolios contained Benington’s photographic record of the work of the young French sculptor, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

Archie Utin died in 1977 and for a period thereafter the Gaudier-Brzeska portfolios disappeared. They are now in the Tate Gallery Archive and in the Archive of Modern Conflict. It is not unreasonable to suggest that a similar pattern may have operated with the Photographic Portraits except that on Utin’s death the plates were passed to the Bodleian.

Custodial History

Sometime after Benington’s death in 1936, the plates may have passed into the keeping of the artist, Mr. Archie Utin. It seems probable that they were gifted to the Bodleian Library following Utin’s death in 1977.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark, e.g. Neg. b.4/1 item 1].

Personal name(s) (NCA Rules)

Benington | Walter | 1872-1936 | photographer

Subject(s)

20th century
Photographs
Photography

Descriptive List

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: Oct 1921
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/1
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 11 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: [1920-1921]
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/2
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 15 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: [1920-1921]
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/3
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 15 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: [1921]
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/4
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 18 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: Oct 1921
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/5
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 18 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: Oct 1921
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/6
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 17 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: [1920-1921]
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/7
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 16 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: [1920-1921]
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/8
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 15 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: [1920-1921]
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/9
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 17 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: [1920-1921]
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/10
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 17 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: 1926
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/11
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 8 items

Scope and Content

Comprises (items 1-7) photographs (plates) of Thomas Power O'Connor, PC, MP (1848-1929), by Walter Benington, 1926, full- plate (216mm x 165mm).

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: 1914
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/12
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 7 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: 1914
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/13
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 16 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Portraits by Walter Benington
Date: 1921
Shelfmark: Neg. b. 4/14
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 7 items

Scope and Content

Comprises:


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12 March 2018