Pennwick Publishing

Pennwick Publishing was founded for the purpose of sharing information on the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century photography. Texts are brief but research based, and are meant for both the beginning as well as the advanced collector of vintage photography. Illustrations are in full color. Pennwick Publishing is an on-demand publisher. 


An Edwardian Observer: The Photographs of Leslie Hamilton Wilson

In its broadest sense, the Edwardian Era did not come to an abrupt end with the death of King Edward VII.  It embraced a lifestyle, a temperament, and a buoyant optimism which were not dispelled until World War I and its post-mortem legacy of our modern age.  Leslie Hamilton Wilson, a successful Scottish businessman with a passion for photography, moved naturally through upper-class Edwardian society (of which he was a part) and documented its preoccupations and pastimes with an unerringly artistic eye.  An inveterate traveler, he brought the confident superiority of a British subject to places as diverse as India, Africa, the Baltic countries and Western Europe, managing to capture the unique texture of each country in his photographic journals.

In these journals and albums, Wilson kept a visual diary of Edwardian life: the first airplane flights, the first automotive picnics, the Titanic in dry dock, the social life and divertissement of the upper class, the high point of an age which had not been obliged to come to terms with disillusion and despair. In his photographs, mainly printed on platinum paper, Wilson created a microcosm of the Edwardian world so that what we see is not merely the aesthetic memorabilia of one man but a table that is symbolic of an age. It is a masterly achievement in which personal experience and history are artistically interwoven in the sensibility of one individual.

Edited by Marilyn Penn and with a historical text by Clark Worswick.
Introduction by Edwin Newman.  A Pennwick/Crown Publishing Book.
New York, 1978.
ISBN: 0-517-533766-X

Princely India: Photographs by Raja Lala Deen Dayal, Court Photographer (1884-1910) to the Premier Prince of India

From the brilliant photo historian Clark Worswick—whose landmark photographic album The Last Empire, Imperial China, and Japan 1854-1905, have received extraordinary acclaim— an unparalleled portrait, the world of India’s richest and most powerful prince, through more than two decades, but the pre-eminent photographer of the day.

In the late nineteenth century, when maharajas still held dominion over nearly half of India, no princely court was more magnificent, more lavish, or more exotic than that of Sir Mahbub Ali Khan, the Sixth Nizam of Hyderbad, reputedly the richest man in the world, owner of the fabulous Golconda diamond mines, and sovereign and religious leader of fourteen million people.

These 128 photographs constitute a rare pictorial document that spans 25 years. They are the work of Raja Lala Deen Dayal, the outstanding Indian photographer of the nineteenth century, selected by Nizam to be the photographer to his court.  Through these images we are able to explore the Nizam’s courtly life. Here is the Nizam amidst his entourage, the Nizam entertaining all kings and heads of state at tea, at polo, at hunts, at balls of unsurpassed opulence.

Edited and with a historical text by Clark Worswick.
With a Foreword by John Kenneth Galbraith.
A Pennwick/Agrinde/Knopf Publishing Book.
New York, 1980
ISBN: 0-394-50772-X

Imperial China: Photographs 1850-1912

China was virtually closed to visitors from the West until the middle of the nineteenth century. It’s opening coincided with the advent of the camera , which gives the early photographs included in tho book a double feeling of discovery, of the landscape and its people, and of the potentiality of the new medium.  The camera was a curious  witness to the capture of the forbidden city of peking 1860, to the beauty and treasures of the Summer Palace, to the execution of criminals in Canton, to details of ordinary Chinese life; and— notable in the photographs of M. Miller and John Thomson— it revealed its ability for portraiture and genre.

These photographs, unknown to the public until now, have been collected from archives in Europe, America, and Asia. They include images by Beato, Wilson, and Mennie, and by many lesser-known photographers. They widen our understanding of what China was like in the final decades of the Dragon Throne and form a vivid and unforgettable picture of a culture destined for radical, irrevocable change.

Edited and with historical texts Clark Worswick and Jonathan Spence
Foreword by Harrison Salisbury
A Pennwick/ Crown Publishing Group Book
New York, 1979
ISBN: 0-517-533774-X

Japan: Photographs 1854-1905

With the elegance, discrimination and knowledge that distinguished his two recent and brilliantly received albums of nineteenth-centuy photographs of Asian life, The Last Empire and Imperial China, the photo-historian Clark Worswick now gives us this landmark photographic album of Japan from 1854-1905.

The beauty and fierceness of that country’s almost medieval nineteenth-century society revealed in 120 extraordinary photographs of the day. In this book—which includes 16 pages in full color reproducing the artfully hand-tinted photographs the Victorians loved— we see the splendor that marked the final years of the Tokugawa shogunate and the first, often curious, images of Westernization that heralded Japan’s transformation from an insular, feudal country to a modern world power. here are the faces, the costumes, the manners, the professions of that tie, the landscapes, the countryside, the city streets, the interiors rich and poor.

The development of a Japanese vision in photography can be attributed to a heterogenous mix of talents— Eurpoean as well as Japanese. Among those represented here: Felix Beato, an Italian military photographer who was the first, and the most important, European photographer in Japan and who extensively documented the last years of the old regime; Baron von Stillfried, and Austrian nobleman who later bought out Beato’s firm and whose dramatic studio portraits were characterized by a grave beauty and a singular intensity; and, in an astonishing modern mode, the two leading Japanese photographers of the time, both of them trained by and in many ways surpassing Beato and Stillfried. One of them, Kusakabe Kimbei, the protege of Stillfried, perfected the art of the psychological portrait and became the great Japanese photographer of the nineteenth century; the other Ogawa Isshin, the most successful society photographer of

Edited and with a historical text by Clark Worswick
Introduction by Jan Morris
A Pennwick/Alfred A. Knopf Book
New York, 1979
ISBN: 0-394-50836-X