Frank Browne: A Life Through The Lens

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10th August - 17th October 2015


Library Opening Hours




Event Description

Born in Cork, Frank Browne (1880 - 1960) was both a distinguished Jesuit and an accomplished photographer. At the age of seventeen, before commencing his studies for the priesthood, he embarked on a tour of Europe armed with a camera. Browne quickly discovered a strong affinity for photography, and continued to take photographs throughout his life. It was not until 1985 – when Fr. Edward O’Donnell SJ discovered a large trunk in the Irish Jesuit Provincial’s House and found it packed with negatives and photographs – that Browne was catapulted to international fame.

Fr. Browne’s remarkable life is recorded in this exhibition and in a book entitled Frank Browne, a Life Through the Lens produced by David and Edwin Davison and published by Yale University Press in 2014. With wit and a sharp eye, he observed twentieth-century Ireland; life as a Jesuit priest; his experience as a passenger on the first leg of the voyage of the Titanic in 1912; his service as a chaplain in the first World War; and his later travels throughout Europe, Egypt and Australia.

Frank Browne was active in the photo-exhibition world and wrote articles for The Kodak Magazine. During this time he made 41,500 negatives. Thanks to Davison and Associates, his collection has now been conserved, duplicated and catalogued with the images re-mastered to print at a quality that does justice to Browne’s marvelous photographs. This exhibition positions Father Browne in his rightful place as one of the most significant photographers of the twentieth century.

Tours of the exhibition will be held at 12 noon on the 22nd of August, the 5th and the 19th of September and the 2nd of October. These tours will last 40 minutes and there is no booking required.

Also, there is a talk on the exhibition, given by David and Edwin Davison, authors of Frank Browne: A Life Through the Lens. David and Edwin Davison are photographers living in Dublin. They have been responsible for the conservation and cataloguing of Father Browne’s original negatives. This talk will take place in the dlr LexIcon at 6.30pm on Thursday the 13th of August.




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