feature: the ‘black chronicles ii’ exhibition – rare portraits of black victorians in britain

August 17, 2015

Check out some of the photographs from upcoming exhibition ‘Black Chronicles II‘ (which took place in London late last year). Curated by Autograph ABP – and produced in collaboration with the Hulton Archive, a division of Getty Images – the collection of rare images depict both ordinary and prominent citizens captured in portraits (including Sarah Forbes Bonetta, who was born in Sierra Leone and was “goddaughter” to Queen Victoria; Prince Alemayehu of Ethiopia, who was taken to Britain as a young boy after his father committed suicide following defeat by the British; international boxing champion Peter Jackson a.k.a. “The Black Prince” from the island of St. Croix; and Kalulu, the African ‘boy servant’ and companion of British explorer Henry Morton Stanley). Renée Mussai, who co-curated the exhibition with Director Mark Sealy, says that the aim of the collection is to “open up critical enquiry into the archive and continue our mission of writing black photographic history. At the heart of the exhibition is the desire to resurrect black figures from oblivion and re-introduce them into contemporary consciousness”. Explore below.

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor


Member of the African Choir, London Stereoscopic Company, 1891. Photograph: Courtesy of © Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Peter Jackson, 1889. London Stereoscopic Company. Courtesy of © Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Saragano Alicamousa, renowned lion and tiger tamer, c. 1870s. Courtesy Michael Graham-Stewart collection