Online Collections at UoB - Objects
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ID number: BIRRC-D0460.5
Institution: Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection: Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts
Artist / Maker: Selby, W. H.
Title / Object name: Individual portrait photograph
Object type: Photograph
Place made: Cape Coast
Date made: 1914-44
Oval portrait of girl standing, mounted. Black and white portrait photograph of a teenage girl taken by a professional photographer in Cape Coast, Ghana. She is well-dressed, wearing pearls and a watch, and carrying a small bag.
Photography as a medium arrived in West Africa via the maritime trading routes during the second half of the nineteenth century. Imports in return for raw materials and gold began to include things such as photographic equipment and slides. As Europeans began to settle along the West African coastline towns such as Cape Coast began to develop as wealthy trade centres, with photographic practises and other Western traditions being culturally amalgamated. A wave of notable West African studio photographers emerged from this cultural boom, learning from prestigious European photographers and going on to develop their own style in relation to both African and European clients.
Sister Evelyn Bellamy was a Methodist Missionary in Ghana and between 1914 and 1943, during which time she occupied the post of headmistress of Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast. The Danford Collection is home to a large number of objects presented by Sister Evelyn Bellamy and some of her papers can be accesssed through the Cadbury Research Library.
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