Entertainment Theatre & Arts

Tuesday 19 June 2018

The priest who caught life through a lens

An exhibition of some of Fr Frank Browne's work can be seen at Dun Laoghaire's Lexicon.
An exhibition of some of Fr Frank Browne's work can be seen at Dun Laoghaire's Lexicon.
Boy with a hairdressing advertisement in Dublin, 1933
Outside the National Gallery, 1936

Robin Schiller

A photographic exhibition depicting the remarkable journey of an Irish Jesuit priest around the World in the late 19th and early 20th century can now be seen in Dun Laoghaire's LexIcon.

The exhibition, entitled Frank Browne: A Life Through The Lens, will display pictures of Fr Browne's European Tour in 1897 and his renowned photographs of the Titanic taken in 1912.

His travels also saw him become chaplain for the Irish Guards in WW1.

In 1921, still suffering from war wounds, he went to Australia to recuperate and made a superb series of photographs of life there.

Browne was active in the photo-exhibition world and wrote articles for The Kodak Magazine. During this time he made 41,500 negatives.

He died in 1960 and his work was largely forgotten until recent years.

In 1985, Fr Edward O'Donnell came upon a trunk containing the negatives and quickly recognised that the pictures were exceptional, but in many cases were deteriorating.

Thankfully, Edwin and David Davison of Davison and Associates photographic restorers, managed to conserve, duplicate and catalogue the entire work.

A talk by Edwin and David Davison, who co-editor of Frank Browne: A Life Through the Lens, will be held in the Studio Theatre, Dun Laoghaire LexIcon today at 6.30pm.

Tours of the exhibition will be held on Saturdays at midday.

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