53 black and white photographs are on display having been selected from 2 private collections totalling some 3000 scenes.
Titled ‘The IW Observed 1860-1950’ the images comprise countryside and coastal views, shipwrecks, transport, social scenes and landscapes.
Professor Robin McInnes OBE, a coastal scientist, art historian and author of St Lawrence and Andy Butler, a retired commercial fisherman and former President of the IW Natural History & Archaeological Society of Ventnor compiled their individual catalogues of photographs over a period of some 40 years.
These images illustrate how the way of life of Island residents and the natural and built environments have changed over time and this mammoth portfolio was catalogued and the negatives and transparencies digitised before prints were taken off.
All the images are to be made available for historical research and authors’ use and will be copyright free. Framed prints in the exhibition are available for sale at Dimbola.
With Robin and Andy’s Ventnor connection a number of the prints on show are of the town or nearby. An Avro seaplane on Ventnor Beach is featured as is Ventnor Esplanade, Wheeler’s Bay and an 1880 image of Ventnor Rowing Club members.
A panorama of the Royal National Hospital (RNH) plus female patients playing croquet and a view of hospital patients having Christmas dinner are also shown. Robin’s step-father, Dr. Laidlaw, was the responsible medic at RNH for some time.
This exhibition staged in the Olympus and Charles Hay Cameron Galleries has been kindly sponsored by the Daisie Rich Trust and the Delphie Lakeman Memorial Trust and continues until 14th April.
Report and photos by Alan & Suzanne Whitewood