Pitt-Rivers Museum

  • The Pitt-Rivers museum in Oxford is situated in the rear part of the Natural History museum building
  • They have recently acquired the negatives and albums of Sir Wilfred Thesiger and have catalogued 30,000+ of his travel pictures to Kurdistan and the Iraq marsh Arab territory in the 1950s and early 1960s.
  • You can see the first 50 or so images from Iraq in a small exhibition in the foyer. You can order digital prints on good paper stock – and they will even deliver by post
  • There is a Web exhibit of his less well known images
  • Most of Thesiger’s photos where made on Ilford film (they have the old screw-top cans) using a Leica II LTM camera (one of two he owned). Judging by the images, most were taken on a 50mm lens – probably the f/3.5 Elmar that came as standard with the Leica II.

The Pitt-Rivers museum itself is a wonderful building. Pitt-Rivers collected series and sequences of objects from a wide range of cultures to show progression and changes in the design of artifacts. These series run from a case of lamellophones (thumb pianos) to a sequence showing the evolution of the Colt .45 revolver.

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