The Derby

Horace Nicholls (British, 1867–1941)
ca. 1906
Gelatin silver print
Image: 14.1 x 10.8 cm (5 9/16 x 4 1/4 in.)
Frame: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.) (Framed with FI.26.13 & FI.26.12)
Credit Line:
The Royal Photographic Socity Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford, United Kingdom
Not on view
Nicholls, a freelance press photographer who specialized in images of Edwardian high society, was typical of the first generation of professional photojournalists in his supple approach to photographic truth. If his camera failed to adequately capture his experience of an event, he had no qualms about combining elements from different negatives to create a more compelling image—a fact he rarely acknowledged in his captions. To enhance the impression of swarming crowds at Epsom Downs one rainy Derby Day, he cloned several groups of umbrella-toting spectators and pasted them into unoccupied areas in his original image.
The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) acquired a large body of work from Horace Nicholls's descendants from 1970s onwards, including this photograph. In 2003, the National Media Museum acquired the RPS collection. On the history of the RPS collection, and their Nicholls holdings see Pam Roberts, "The Royal Photographic Society Collection," (Bath: Royal Photographic Society, 1994), p. 52. Reproduced in Gail Buckland, "The Golden Summer: The Edwardian Photographs of Horace W. Nicholls," (London: Pavilion, 1989), p. 131.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," October 10, 2012–January 27, 2013.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," February 17, 2013–May 5, 2013.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," June 2, 2013–August 25, 2013.

Fineman, Mia. Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 151, pp. 142, 242.