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The Redding Photographic Collection

Redding image 9998 copyright Rugby Art Gallery and Museum
REdding image 2copyright Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

The Collection

The Redding Collection comprises around 25,000 glass plate negatives and cellulose acetate negatives from the photography studio of the same name which flourished in Rugby in the mid 20 Century.  The collection was donated to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum by the owner Graham Wiseman (1945 - 2009) who bought the business from photographer Rodney H Huntingford who took all the images.

Our collection spans the years 1958 to the mid seventies.  Images were carefully logged by the photography studio in leather-bound hand written ledgers.  

The Collection is a unique document of Rugby through portraiture, landscape and businesses.

Rugby at work

The collection shows a post-war employment boom in Rugby.  Rodney Huntingford often photographed products for companies such as Lodge plugs and BTH as well as portraits of people in their working clothes.  He photographed the portrait of the Mayor of Rugby every year.

Sending pictures home:

The collection includes many portraits of people of Caribbean and Asian heritage.  They allowed people who had recently moved to the country to show friends and families their new lives in the UK.

"It was a time that we dressed up, taking photographs and sending photographs back home.  We sent them back home to say this is me now"                                                                                                             Elfreda Nembhard

Rodney Huntingford was able to re-unite families by carefully montaging portraits he'd taken in the studio in Rugby with family photographs from back home to create an entirely new and unique family portrait.


Archiving the Collection

Our ambition for the collection is to make the plates and ledgers accessible to all either online or digitally in the museum.

We are beginning a project to repack the collection into better storage and this will lead to further projects to catalogue and digitise the collection.

Read more about recent research on the collection here.

The history of the studios date back to the early twentieth century when the studio was owned by George Redding from 1912 to the mid 1930s when Rodney took over the business.  For more information about George Redding visit the Our Warwickshire website

Redding image 144226a copyright Rugby Art Gallery and Museum
Redding 1 image copyright Rugby Art Gallery and Museum
Redding image 16222 copyright Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

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