Woodbury and Page Chinese School of Dance, Semarang
Medium Albumen print from wet plate negative
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1867c Print Date 1867c
Dimensions 8 x 10 in. (203 x 254 mm)
Photo Country Java
Photographer Country United Kingdom (UK)
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
There is an indistinct negative number in the top right corner of this untrimmed image which clearly shows the peeling collodion edges. The dancers are not actually Chinese they are Javanese. The house is that of the Be family who were prominent as the effective mayors of the Chinatown to which Chinese merchants were confined, the rank called Cina. (Information provided by Curator Gael Newton). There are a Jananese (Or Gamelan) orchestra instruments. In Indonesia, gamelan often accompanies dance.
Walter Woodbury (1834-1885) was an apprentice in a patent office in Manchester, England, from 1849 to 1851. He went to the Australian gold fields in 1852. Woodbury took up professional photography (he invented the 'Woodburytype' process) and emigrated with James Page to Java around 1856-58. They established the firm of Woodbury and Page in Batavia about 1860. Woodbury returned to England in 1863, but the firm continued trading until about 1910 under Woodbury's younger brother, Albert, after Page also left in 1861.
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