Current exhibition ALPS: MAMMOTH PHOTOGRAPHS by Thomas Crauwels

Current exhibition ALPS: MAMMOTH PHOTOGRAPHS by Thomas Crauwels

As a lover of mountains in the purest sense, Thomas Crauwels is a deserving and most welcome successor to our annual Peaks and Glaciers exhibitions held every winter in our gallery. As a craftsman making a living from photographing Leslie Stephen’s ‘Playground of Europe’, Thomas can be considered as a photographe-alpiniste in the rich tradition established by those pioneering painters, the peintres-alpinistes, who were the first to climb in the Alps intent on sketching and painting from life the views from high up.

In the wake of photography’s early ‘golden age’ in the mid-1850s the

medium readily appealed to extroverts who thrived on challenges and innovation. With technological advances in cameras and film by the early 1900s, mountain photography became a mainstay for tourists, scientists and climbers alike. It will come as a surprise to learn that in the mid-1860s Chamonix was France’s second most photographed destination after Paris.

Having established himself as a professional photographer and accomplished mountaineer, Thomas Crauwels abandoned his day-long hiking trips to head further up into the mountains, replete with a bivouac bag and supplies. His diary entries accompanying the catalogued works reveal a dedicated, if perfectionist, approach to his subject matter. These photographs bear witness to countless days spent above 3000 metres and a thorough technical training combined with great reverence for the earliest practitioners of Alpine photography. ALPS: MAMMOTH PHOTOGRAPHS will be on display at our gallery until April 7th, visitor are welcome throughout the week, 10:00 - 17:00. A digital catalogue can be viewed here.