Ford, Colin John 1934–
Ford, Colin John 1934–
PERSONAL: Born May 13, 1934, in London, England; son of John William and Helene Martha (maiden name, Richardson) Ford; married Margaret Elizabeth Cordwell (a film censor), August 12, 1961 (separated January 31, 1978; divorced 1980); married Susan Joan Frances Grayson, September, 1984; children: (first marriage) Richard John, Clare Michaela Elizabeth, (second marriage) Thomas. Education: Oxford University, M.A., 1960; Bradford University, graduated, 1991. Hobbies and other interests: Travel, music, small boats.
ADDRESSES: Home—23 Gresley Rd., Islington N19 3LA, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Windsor Books International, The Boundary, Wheatley Road, Garsington, Oxford OX44 9EJ, England.
CAREER: Writer, educator, historian, and museum curator. Manager and producer of Kidderminster Playhouse, 1958–60; general manager of Western Theatre Ballet, 1960–62; University of California, Los Angeles, and California State University, Long Beach, visiting lecturer in English and drama, 1962–64; deputy curator of National Film Archive of England, 1965–72; National Portrait Gallery, London, England, keeper of film and photography, 1972–81; National Museum of Photography, Film & Television (Bradford, England), head, 1982–93; National Museums and Galleries of Wales, director, 1993–98. Lecturer and broadcaster on film, theater, and photography; organizer of exhibitions. Director of Cinema City Exhibition, 1972; program director of London Shakespeare Film Festival, 1972.
MEMBER: British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Royal Photographic Society.
AWARDS, HONORS: Recipient of honorary degree from the University of Bradford.
(With Roy Strong) An Early Victorian Album, Jonathan Cape (London, England), 1974, Knopf (New York, NY), 1977.
The Cameron Collection, Van Nostrand (New York, NY), 1975.
(Editor) Happy and Glorious: 130 Years of Royal Photographs, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1977, published as Happy and Glorious: Six Reigns of Royal Photography, Angus & Robertson (London, England), 1977.
Britain in the 1880's, Penguin (New York, NY), 1980. (Author of introduction) Portraits, Thames and Hudson (London, England), 1983.
(With Brian Harrison) A Hundred Years Ago: Britain in the 1880s in Word and Photographs, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1983.
(Editor) The Story of Popular Photography, Trafalgar Square (North Pomfret, VT), 1989.
(Editor, with Penny Fell) Makers of Photographic History: A Record of the Symposium Held to Celebrate the 150th Birthday of Photography at the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, 1839–1989, National Museum of Photography, Film & Television (Bradford, West Yorkshire, England), 1990.
Julia Margaret Cameron: A Critical Biography, Getty Publications (Los Angeles, CA), 2003.
Julia Margaret Cameron: Nineteenth Century Photographer of Genius, National Portrait Gallery (London, England), 2003.
Also author of film Masks and Faces and of scripts for radio and television. Contributor to magazines and to Oxford Companion to Film.
SIDELIGHTS: Colin John Ford is a writer, museum curator, and historian of photography. A number of Ford's works focus on Julia Margaret Cameron, a prominent photographer in the late nineteenth century. Cameron "may well hold the title of the most important British photographer of the nineteenth century," commented Peter Stansky in Albion. Cameron was a middle-aged mother of six when she was given a camera to help her find a pastime to ease the loneliness while her husband was away on business in Ceylon. Already keenly interested in photography, she embarked on a short but stellar career of approximately fourteen years, photographing the famous and the unknown with equal enthusiasm and technical skill.
Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs, written with Julian Cox, includes more than 1,200 photographs, with descriptions—a collection consisting of every Cameron image known to exist at the time of publication. The authors also include a number of detailed biographical essays and works on Cameron's contemporary social scene, the cultural life of Victorian England, and the major themes covered in her work. Cox and Ford "thoroughly and ardently chronicle every aspect of Cameron's extraordinary life, art, and legacy," noted Donna Seaman in Booklist. Library Journal contributor Carolyn Kuebler called the book "the crowning glory of Cameron scholarship." A Publishers Weekly reviewer declared it to be "a necessary expense for any Victorianist or early photography buff."
Julia Margaret Cameron: A Critical Biography was written to accompany an exhibit of Cameron's works. "As a general study and to provide visitors to the exhibition with the story of her life, it is very valuable," Stansky remarked. Julia Margaret Cameron: Nineteenth Century Photographer of Genius combines Ford's "unrivalled knowledge" and Cameron's "own unpublished autobiographical fragment" to create a thorough introduction to the photographer's life and work. Reviewer Adam Goff, writing in New Scientist, remarked that Ford's book, and exhibits of Cameron's work, will "reaffirm her status as one of the most influential photographers of the nineteenth century."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Albion, summer, 2004, Peter Stansky, review of Julia Margaret Cameron: A Critical Biography, p. 328.
Booklist, March 1, 2003, Donna Seaman, review of Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs, p. 1139.
Contemporary Review, November, 2003, review of Julia Margaret Cameron: Nineteenth Century Photographer of Genius, p. 318.
Library Journal, May 15, 1983, review of A Hundred Years Ago: Britain in the 1880s in Words and Photographs, p. 1000; May 1, 2003, Carolyn Kuebler, review of Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs, p. 109.
New Scientist, February 22, 2003, Adam Goff, review of Julia Margaret Cameron: Nineteenth Century Photographer of Genius, p. 50.
New Yorker, May 23, 1983, review of A Hundred Years Ago, p. 123; February 17, 2003, Judith Thurman, review of Julia Margaret Cameron: A Critical Biography, p. 520.
New York Times Book Review, April 27, 2003, Frederick Kaufman, review of Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs, p. 24.
Popular Photography, November, 1983, review of A Hundred Years Ago, p. 142.
Publishers Weekly, January 27, 2003, review of Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs, p. 252.
Times Higher Education Supplement, May, 9, 2003, Tom Rosenthal, "Scalps of the Rich and Clever," review of Julia Margaret Cameron: Nineteenth Century Photographer of Genius, p. 23.