News and Updates: 2002 News

Visual Delights Conference
12-14 July, 2002: The University of Sheffield

[image] visual delights

Living Pictures in association with the National Fairground Archive and the University of Teesside will hold a second event examining the use and exploitation of the projected image within the fields of entertainment, education, science and the domestic environment. The three day conference will deal with the differing social, cultural, technological and economic contexts that the printed and projected image occupied in the late Victorian the Edwardian Era. Incorporating both academic and non academic historians, collectors and performers, the conference will attempt to bring the worlds of photography, film and mass visual culture to a wider and more inclusive audience. The conference will be co-hosted by the National Fairground Archive and the University of Teesside, and will take place at the University of Sheffield and the Picturedrome Cinema in Holmfirth between the 12th and 14th of July, 2002.

The first two days of the conference will include screenings from the Desmet Collection in the Nederland's FilmMuseum and the UK premiere of the newly restored Mitchell and Kenyon films of the North of England taken between 1900-1904. Jean Desmet was a Dutch cinema pioneer who, after having worked on fairs with various attractions turned to film projections. In 1909 he opened what is considered to be the first purpose-built cinema in Holland. Within a couple of years he built a small, nation-wide exhibition empire and provided these and other theatres with the films from the distribution company he had set up as well. The Great War dealt a severe blow to these activities, as Dutch cinema fare was largely imported. In 1918 he discontinued his film business. His estate, including dozens of programme sheets, hundreds of films, thousands of posters, and a fairly complete collection of business records, constitutes the crown jewels of the Nederlands Filmmuseum. The Mitchell and Kenyon screening will include street scenes of Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford and other northern towns filmed in the 1900s and are from the Peter Worden Collection now in the British Film Institute. Building on the success of the previous event organised in July 1999, there will be several screenings of archive material and an exhibition of items from important private collections, bookstalls and an ephemera fair. A selection of the papers will be published by Flicks Books who are co-sponsors. Bamforth Day

As a conclusion to the conference there will be a day devoted to the Bamforth Company who were the premier producers of magic lantern slides and equipment in the 19th century, and the leading manufacturers of postcards from the 1900s onwards. The Bamforth Company also produced films between 1898-1902 and 1913 -1915. The aim of the Bamforth Day (to take place on the third day of the conference) will be to examine the history of the company in its local environment and will incorporate an eighty-minute Bamforth Lantern performance conducted by Professor Mervyn Heard. This special performance will showcase Bamforth slides and include lantern effects, song slides and live musical accompaniment. Secondly, a display of original postcards and material from the Bamforth Collection in association with Kirklees Community History Service will be made available. The day will also include a film performance of Bamforth and other early West Yorkshire films, and presentations on the company and its history. The event will be hosted in the Bamforth cinema (opened in 1913) with musical accompaniment by a descendent of one of the original Bamforth musicians.