New exhibition is snapshot of Lanark’s past

You've been framed...just one of the cameras on show
You've been framed...just one of the cameras on show

OFTEN local history exhibtions are plugged in the Gazette as being a `snapshot of our area’s past’.

However, that will be DOUBLY true of the main annual display at Lanark Museum this summer.

That is because the theme of this year’s show is `Photography In Lanark’.

With a title like that, you’d be forgiven for thinking: “Ach. So what? It’s going to be just yet another display of old photographs of Lanark. What’s new about that?”

Well, while there WILL be some fine old pictures of the Royal Burgh on show in the Westport, it will be the actual cameras they were taken with which will be the `stars’ of the 2015 exhibition.

And some of these great-great-great grandfathers of today’s digital cameras are over 120 years old!

In the 21st century, with all the cheap and easy technonogy available to us with even wee children taking `selfies’, it is hard to grasp just how limited to professional hands photography was a hundred years ago.

The great, wooden-encased machines with accessories such as tripod legs, gunpowder flashguns and even a bidrie for subjects to watch made taking photographs in these days a very specialist skill,

Indeed, some regarded it at the time as an entirely new artform which would, one day, completely replacing paintings.

The Museum’s spokesman told the Gazette of the wide range of `camera gear 19th century style’ visitors will be able to see.

The Museum is open in the YMCA in Bloomgate on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am until 4pm and entrance is free of charge, although donations are welcome.

There are also some gift and souvenir items for sale and a selection of old Lanimer brochures.

Added the spokesman: “There is always a need for more volunteers to cover and extend our opening hours. If you are interested please phone Lanark 666680.“