wiki:Bourne & Shepherd

Version 1 (modified by Lawrence Liang, 12 years ago) (diff)


Bourne & Shepherd

Calcutta-based company; oldest and most prominent still photography dealers in India, set up in 1840 as a studio by Samuel Bourne. Charles Shepherd and A. Robertson started a Photographic Artists Studio in Agra (1862) which became Howard & Bourne in Simla (1863) and finally Bourne & Shepherd in Calcutta (1868). Both were photographers, making portraits of political and arts personalities, urban scenes of Calcutta and royal Durbars and were dealers in equipment and stock. They produced photographic variants of Company School painting for the popular art market: Hiralal Sen’s career started when he won a Bourne & Shepherd photography competition in 1887.

Their nationwide distribution and processing/ printing network was one of the first to expand into film (by 1900) when, with the Bombay- based Clifton & Co., they started showing movies in their studios. Mainly sold or hired out equipment by Pathé-Freres, Gaumont and the Barker Motion Picture Co., aggressively marketing their services and making professional cameramen and crews available to shoot events of state or private importance on commission from the government, Indian royalty or business magnates (e.g. Pundalik, 1912). Until the establishment of Pathé (India) in 1907, companies like Bourne & Shepherd occasionally worked as agents for the Pathé Exchange, the International Newsreel Corp. and Fox Films, purchasing locally made documentaries for them as ‘News’ films, or the cheaper ‘Review’ films. The first extensively filmed public event in India, the British Royal Family’s visit in 1911 (shot by Patankar, Hiralal Sen, Madan Theatres and others) was also shot by the company: Their Imperial Majesties in Delhi (1911)