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The Father of Photojournalism

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Born in Cork, Ireland, Frank Browne (1880–1960) took his first photographs during a European tour in 1897, just before joining the Jesuits. These pictures convey something of the remarkable talent of a man who was to emerge as the most significant Irish photographer in the first half of the twentieth century.

In 1912 his Titanic photographs brought international fame. In 1921 he took his final vows and still
suffering from war wounds, he went to Australia to recuperate and made a superb series of photographs of life in that country. On his return to Ireland he continued to record aspects of Irish ways of life both personal and corporate which, when added to his pictures in South Africa, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Spain and England constitute a fascinating interpretation of a rapidly evolving world.

He was active in the photo-exhibition world and wrote articles for The Kodak Magazine. During this time he made 41,500 negatives. He died in 1960 and his work was largely forgotten.

It was not until 1985, however - when Father Edward O’Donnell SJ discovered a large trunk in the Irish Jesuit Provincial’s House and found it packed with negatives and photographs - that Browne was catapulted to international fame. Father Browne’s remarkable life is recorded in the superb selection of images presented in a new book.

This handsome, copiously illustrated volume offers a complete survey of the photographic work of an exceptional man. These pictures form the basis of this exhibition, which in conjunction with the Yale University Press publication, “Frank Browne, A Life Through the Lens”, will position him in his rightful place as one of the twentieth centuries great photographers.   


The book will be available from January 27, 2015. The exhibition “Through the Lens” is on display until December 23, 2014 in Farmleigh, Ireland.

For more information, please go to Yale University Press Publication and Farmleigh Gallery

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