The Burlington Magazine – May 2023: Anxiety about the future of the two great photographic libraries housed in the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, can be traced back at least thirty years. In October 1992 we published an Editorial, ‘The Witt and Conway libraries under threat’, which was prompted by a demand from the University of London that the Courtauld – not yet a self-governing and self-financing entity – produce a business plan that would show how the libraries could develop commercial opportunities to offset a threatened reduction in university funding.
Mey Rahola (1897–1959): The new photographer
Mey Rahola: Desire for Horizons
Although Mey Rahola (1897–1959) was one of the first women to become renowned for art photography in Spain, she remains a little-known figure today. Two linked exhibitions with a single catalogue dedicated to the Catalan photographer set out to rectify this and liberate an overlooked artist from the shadow of anonymity. Working with Rahola’s family, the curators, Lluís Bertran Xirau and Roser Martínez Garcia, have assembled 550 items from her collection, including 250 negatives and a number of photograph albums. That this material had been handed down and divided between the artist’s friends and family is testimony to her interest in her posterity. The fact that, nonetheless, Rahola has remained largely unknown, one is reminded in the exhibition catalogue, is a result partly of her status as a female photographer operating in the early twentieth century and partly of the events of the Spanish Civil War, which ruptured her burgeoning career.
The Bayeux Tapestry photographed