On the outside wall of the Old School Muker are two plaques commemorating school alumni, Richard and Cherry Kearton. Born in Thwaite, one mile up the Dale, the two brothers attended the school in the late 19th Century before going on to pioneer wildlife photography and cinematography, influencing amongst others Sir David Attenborough.
Given the stunning wildlife photography and film making we enjoy today; impossible without modern, hi-tech equipment, it’s worth reflecting on the limitations of the camera gear available to the Keartons, and how incredibly intrepid and inventive they were to capture their shots, including the use of the famous hollow ox as a portable hide.
We’re currently in conversation with the Museum of Science and Media, who hold in their collection some of the Kearton’s equipment and books, and the V&A whose collection (hopefully) includes some of their original prints, with the aim of holding an exhibition of the Kearton’s work in 2019. Last week I headed down to Bradford to visit to Museum of Science and Media, who were kind enough to provide access to their large and small object stores, both treasure troves of equipment where two of Cherry Kearton’s film cameras are stored.
We’re now waiting for the V&A to get back in touch before we’re able to take the exhibition to the next stage, so watch this space!!
In the meantime there’s a couple more of the Kearton’s images to enjoy below, and more can be found on the Guardian’s website here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2016/jul/14/the-keartons-inventing-nature-photography-in-pictures